Press reports say the divorce between Ben Goldsmith, the son of the billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith and his wife Kate, heir to the Rothschild banking dynasty, is likely to be the first high-profile clash of the ‘twitter generation’ to be played out in the courts…
Deborah Jeff, Head of Family at Seddons Solicitors in London and one of the best divorce lawyers in the UK, comments: “With social media, the disadvantage is that the results are instantaneous. Once it’s out there in the ether, it’s almost impossible to retract. It’s always good advice not to communicate by social media or text when the temperature is riding high – what seems like a good idea at the time can be disastrous after reflection. Adopting a dignified silence is the best advice when matters are so fresh, and that extends to social media. Else the ‘innocent party’ risks criticism too for not putting the best interests of the children first.
“A good measuring tool is always to ask: ‘Would I want my children to see these comments?’ If not, think again before airing one’s dirty washing in the social media public. It’s not unusual nowadays to see in a divorce petition criticism of comments on Facebook or Twitter but tempting as it is, silence is the best response.
“Their respective lawyers will be working to keep the temperature down and, being a high-profile couple, also to keep any further news of this divorce leaking to the press. The emphasis throughout will be what is in the best interests of their three very young children. This need not end up a bitterly fought divorce through the Courts. They will be advised to consider mediation with a view to settling matters quickly, cost effectively and to encourage better communication both during and post-divorce.
“If they entered into a prenuptial agreement, the starting point will be for the financial settlement to be in accordance with those terms. However, the prenup can be varied if it doesn’t make suitable financial provision for the children. Both parties will have been advised to review their prenup if and when children were born to ensure the financial settlement in the event of divorce were reasonable.
“If there was no prenuptial agreement, the Court will need to consider a checklist of factors before making any financial order, such as the ages of the parties, the length of the marriage, their respective contributions both financial and non-financial and, as a priority, the needs of the children and both parties. Standard of living will also be pertinent but bearing in mind the wealth of their respective families, there is little risk here of a reduced standard of living post-divorce.”
London divorce solicitor/divorce lawyer, Deborah Jeff, is a keen legal commentator of high-profile divorces and marriages in the media and has specialised as a Family Lawyer throughout her 17-year career, with the majority of her work being complex financial disputes within divorce.
She acts for and provides divorce advice to clients from many different backgrounds, including those in the media and entertainment world and is known for handling the most intricate of financial disputes, often with offshore trust structures and difficult tax issues.
Seddons is a 20-year-old central London law firm (based at 5 Portman Square) with a total of over 70 staff, including 19 partners.
Chambers notes ‘This team offers clients the full range of family services, and is particularly noted for its expertise on divorce proceedings’ and the Legal 500 says ‘Deborah Jeff provides an excellent level of service at Seddons’.