Judge Tells Divorcing Couple To End Litigation

A judge has advised a divorcing couple to settle their ongoing dispute out-of-court.

Mr Justice Holman told Ekaterina and Richard Fields that their arguments over their £6m assets were “awful” and “unedifying”.

He told them: “You have got two children. It really doesn’t have to be like this. It should never have got this far.”

The comments were made on the first day of the hearing, which is expected to cost the couple £250,000 – they have already spent £1m on litigation.

Judge Holman compared the divorce process to “a boxing match” and warned against the couple giving evidence against each other in court, which he described as a “painful and destructive” experience.

He told them they should be seated at a table, negotiating fairly between the two of them.

Mr and Mrs Fields were married for almost ten years before their split in March 2013 and have two young children together.

Mrs Fields was born in Russia and is a model, actress and philanthropist. It is her second marriage.

The 42-year old is requesting maintenance payments taken from Mr Fields’ £1.2m annual income and a £500,000 house in London.

It is the fifth time that 59-year old Mr Fields has been married. The businessman was a partner at a Washington DC law firm and is now chairman of a successful litigation funding firm.

During their battle he closed a business in which Mrs Fields owned 22.5 per cent of the shares, rendering them worthless. She said she felt “cheated” by his actions.

It is reported that Mr Fields asked for the hearing to be in private, but Judge Holman refused his request and allowed the press to attend. He said it was imperative for cases like these to be open and transparent and highlighted the high public interest it would generate.

Elizabeth Gallagher head of the family team at Macks commented “This approach is refreshing and mirrors the view of most judges that generally the court forum is not the best place to resolve issues that arise when a relationship breaks down. Going to court can be uncertain and expensive and often makes the parties entrenched in their positions. This can be particularly damaging if there are children involved.

All the team at Macks have a sympathetic and pragmatic approach to the legal process and aspire to keep the process out of court wherever possible. I am particularly passionate about resolving problems that arise when a relationship breaks down, through the collaborative process. This involves resolving issues by a series of 4 way meetings involving the parties and their lawyers and everyone agrees at the outset not to go to court. This way the parties keep control of the process and can focus on things that are important to them and their family, rather than risk a Judge who has never met the parties before, and does not appreciate what is important to them, making a decision that neither party agrees with”.

If you wish to arrange an appointment with our divorce solicitors, we can be reached on 01325 389 800.


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