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Ryan Giggs’ Genius Divorce Case

Another Celebrity Divorce

Ryan Giggs is the latest celebrity to become embroiled in a high profile divorce case. He will soon be arguing in court that he should be awarded more than half of the £40m fortune which he shares with his wife. He intends to argue that he made a “special contribution” to the amount of money amassed during their marriage.

His legal team will be attempting to convince the judge that his contribution possessed a spark of “genius” – without which their shared marital fortune would not be as abundant.

An “exceptional” financial contribution

This benchmark for an exceptional financial contribution to a marriage was recently set in England. In this case Mr Michael Cowan was awarded 62% of the £12m marital estate. His contribution to this fortune was made through introducing black plastic bin liners to the UK with “entrepreneurial flair, inventiveness and hard work”, which was noted by the Judges as being “truly exceptional.”

However, recently two other multi-millionaire husbands (American banker Randy Work and Laura Ashley chairman Khoo Kay Peng) did not succeed in having their “genius” recognised by the English judiciary. As a result, they both paid out significantly higher settlements than they originally argued for.

Is divorce different in Scotland?

The position around division of marital property in Scotland is somewhat different however, with no such emphasis on genius required!

In Scotland, there is a clear framework for dividing matrimonial assets during a divorce, the basis of which is simply a fair apportioning of the net value of the matrimonial property, as at stands at the date of separation between the parties. 

“Fair sharing” is interpreted as dividing property on a 50/50 basis between parties, although there can be circumstances where one party retains slightly more than 50%. For example, gifts and inheritances received by one party can result in an unequal split of the assets.

Approaching a separation

When approaching a divorce, it is always best to speak to an experienced advisor early on to find out what your position is in the eyes of the law. We always take the time to build up a detailed picture of a client’s circumstances in order to identify any conditions which may justify an unequal division of property. We then pull together all financial information required and work closely with all involved parties to reach a negotiated settlement as amicably as possible.

The Giggs case is another example of how different the legal systems are in England and Scotland, something that is not always transparent from a quick scan of the headlines.

For more information on support with your own divorce or separation contact senior Family Law specialist Jenny Broatch


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