Top London matrimonial lawyer Ayesha Vardag comments on reports that Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard’s ex-fiance Elen Rivesmay may be entitled to up to half of his £23m fortune, despite not being married to him.
The Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, 30, has a £23m fortune, including a £3m townhouse in Chelsea where he lived with 30-year-old Spanish model Elen Rives and daughters Luna, two, and Isla, one.
He has bought them a house nearby in Fulham after she moved out, close enough to pay regular visits. Speculation says in reports that Elen can expect up to half his riches, but is likely to have to sign a confidentiality agreement.
The couple, both 30, had been engaged for five years — but Lampard has been reportedly caught with other women. Elen is said to have reacted to his first alleged affair by giving back the engagement ring Lampard gave her in 2004. They had been together for seven years in total.
Newspaper reports say they have ensured there will be no bitter financial or legal battles as in other celebrity love splits.
A spokesman added: “Everything has been sorted in such a friendly manner that no solicitors have been involved. They decided to split two months ago, but they delayed making a public announcement until everything was in place and Elen was in the new home that she has chosen.”
Ayesha Vardag comments: “Cohabitation is not marriage. At a time where huge 50-50 payouts on divorce are all over the news, it’s worth remembering that the story is very different if you don’t tie the knot legally.
“Cohabitees can acquire rights in their homes, even if they’re not joint legal owners, under standard property a trust law. If for example, if they have given up a career or had children on a promise that the home is theirs too, or if they have contributed to the purchase price, they may be entitled to a share of the proceeds of sale. This is usually fiddly and expensive to prove, however.
“Cohabitees can also have payments for maintenance for their children, including an allowance for them as carers, a one-off lump sum, strictly needs-based, for cars, property renovation, debt payments, etc (not for a home), and they can have a house held on trust to be in with the children until they grow up, when it will revert to their former partner.
“While that can all be very substantial and can meet a cohabitee’s needs for his or herself and the children for a time, it’s a far cry from sharing in the millions they may have helped to build up in their partner’s name. And after the children grow up, it’s goodbye to the home and the cohabite, who may have given everything up for their partner’s career, and they may be out on the street.“
Ayesha Vardag graduated from Cambridge University with Honours in Law and from Brussels with a Master’s in European Law, working at the International Courts of Justice in the Hague, the UN(IAEA) in Vienna, Linklaters (finance law) and Sears Tooth (divorce law).
Her firm, Ayesha Vardag Solicitors, works at the cutting edge of family law in leading cases involving “big money“ and complex international issues.