Earlier this week, Boris Johnson made a plea for billionaires' wives to sue for divorce in London.
It is reported that the Mayor said "I have no shame in saying to the injured spouses of the world's billionaires if you want to take him to the cleaners... take him to the cleaners in London."
Mr Johnson’s comments seem to flow from a desire to generate business for the city but they do reinforce the widely held belief that England is one of the most generous jurisdictions in the world for a financially weaker spouse. In particular, some judges in London are thought to grant more generous maintenance awards to spouses than judges in the North of England. This is a topic which my colleague, Fiona Wood explores in more detail in her recent blog in the Huffington Post.
The resolution of financial matters on divorce in this jurisdiction is a matter of discretion and fairness. Unlike other jurisdictions around the world, the court does not apply a mathematical formula but instead must consider a checklist of factors which is applied to each case individually. The ultimate aim of the court is to achieve “fairness” and it may therefore take some circumstances into account that other jurisdictions would ignore.
When considering divorce, the choice of jurisdiction and the choice of court within that jurisdiction can have a fundamental effect on the overall settlement achieved. This is one of the reasons why seeking early advice from a specialist Family solicitor is so important.