19 February 2007
Divorce settlements in England are most generous in Europe
Divorce settlements in England are the most generous in Europe, according to recent research.
Figures from accountants Grant Thornton have revealed that non-working wives divorcing in England receive an average of 53 per cent of their husband's assets, but are likely to get much less in Europe.
The disparity in the payouts with Europe is due to a continent-wide expectation that wives must support themselves in the event of a divorce. In the UK the larger payouts reflect a belief that wives must be supported for the rest of their lives.
Commenting on the findings in the New Statesman William Longrigg, a solicitor who has been involved in a series of high-profile divorce cases, said:
"You just have to look at who judges are…they are part of the establishment, largely male, and drawn from a narrow social class. They still hold the view that women need to be protected,"
However, the larger payments, which have seen thousands of European wives flock to England to sue for divorce, are now at risk as Europe-wide legislation on divorce is imposed. It is hoped the legislation will regulate the size of settlements throughout Europe.