When a divorce has been finalised, what is next for most couples? Moving on with one’s life, finding a new partner or realising your potential as a born-again singleton, many would answer. But what about those whose boundaries are blurred? A recent article in the press indicated the potential mess that can occur in such instances where the break is less than clean, after a recent divorcee requested his ex-wife stay living in the matrimonial home as a housekeeper for him and his new partner!
The person in question, a millionaire businessman, has interests in the London property market, and claimed he could not understand why his partner became ‘so aggressive’ when he ‘informed her’ of the new arrangements.
One could argue that the wife in question came out with a good result, as she walked away from her confused ex husband with a generous spousal maintenance. However, the boundaries had always been blurred, as despite divorcing in 1990’s, they continued living together and regarded divorce as ‘just a piece of paper’.
As soon as the man in question met another woman, however, divorce suddenly had a much greater meaning. When he requested his former wife stay in the matrimonial home as ‘some sort of housekeeper’, she rejected his suggestion as ‘very demeaning and upsetting’.
His request sparked her desire to begin litigation in order to gain financial support, provoking his somewhat dramatic claim that he would commit suicide or go on hunger strike if she went to Court regarding financial matters. Nevertheless, the man’s former wife was awarded almost half of his £13.6 million fortune after the Judge concluded that there was no distinction between the couple’s marriage and their life together after the divorce. Despite the ex-husband’s arguments that they had come to an agreement between them which meant she would receive a much lesser sum, his offended ex fought back, claiming the agreement was only because she was placed under duress. Perhaps that’s a lesson for both parties, divorce is a boundary which should be respected more than blurred.