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Sadly, tis the season to separate for celebrities

By Principal Lawyer, Family Law

After the announcement last week that Pop Star Darius Campbell has Separated from his wife, Hollywood actress Natasha Henstridge after just two years of marriage, news emerged over the weekend of two more celebrity separations.

It was announced yesterday that after months of speculation, actress and TV personality Denise Van Outen has separated from her West End Actor husband Lee Mead after four years of marriage. On the same day, it was reported that Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton has split from her husband Riad Erraji after six years of marriage.

Van Outen has been pictured for the first time without her wedding ring after rumours of marital difficulties that had circulated in the press for months. The parties married in the Seychelles in 2009 after meeting in 2007 when Lee Mead was a contestant on the BBC Andrew Lloyd Webber show “Any Dream Will Do”. Denise was a Judge on the programme in the search for the next Joseph which  Lee went on to win. Shortly after their wedding, the pair announced they were expecting their first Child, daughter Betsy, now age three.

According to reports, the pair have sadly just grown apart as a result of busy work schedules and there are no third parties involved. Denise’s spokesperson who confirmed the separation said that the couple remain the best of friends and that Betsy is their number one priority. It was only in April that Denise appeared on ITV1’s Daybreak, denying the rumours of a split and explaining that the couple spend time apart because they don’t have a nanny to look after their daughter. A major decision for both parties to discuss will of course be with whom Betsy will live or whether there will be a shared care arrangement in place for Betsy’s care. With Lee pursuing his career in the US, it may well be that Denise will be Betsy’s primary carer following the split. However, given the parties have apparently maintained such good relations, Lee may very well continue to spend as much time as possible with his daughter, despite having moved out of the family home in May according to reports. There has so far been no mention of the parties taking steps to legally end their marriage through Divorce at this stage.

Meanwhile, Natasha Hamilton is said to be devastated following the breakdown of her marriage to her husband, Riad Erraji who she has described as the love of her life. According to reports, Riad moved out of the family home three weeks ago and despite attempts over the last year to get their marriage back on track, it has been unsuccessful. It has been reported that again, there is no one else involved and the parties have just grown apart. The Atomic Kitten star married Riad in 2007 and has described how the hardest thing about the break-up has been explaining the separation to their three children, three year old son Alfie and her two sons from previous relationships, Josh, age ten and Harry age eight. The reports do not mention whether Divorce proceedings are going to be issued at the current time.

Although it is always sad to hear of any marriage separation, each of these celebrity couples are reported to be maintaining amicable relations, with their children being the number one priority. Keeping lines of communication open after a separation (although easier said than done), will not only help reassure children during such a difficult, uncertain time but will also help the parties to reach a fair solution upon Divorce; making the process much smoother and keeping the legal fees much lower.

By Family Law Solicitor Georgina Chase

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