“Wrecking The Ship of Their Marriage, Then Turning Their Attention To The Lifeboats”

20 September, 2012

In the midst of one of the most tragic and unnecessary of divorce cases concerning Mr & Mrs Kavanagh and their family, Judge Million yesterday delivered what I think is one of the most erudite descriptions of a couple who, so it would seem, could not bring themelves to stop their litigation until the lawyers had taken almost literally everything they had. He said they were “wrecking the ship of their marriage, then turning their attention to the lifeboats”.

The irony of the case is that both parties are lawyers themselves and so, one would have thought, be more aware of the dangers of spending disproportionately on their legal teams.

Over the last 20 years I have seen the family law profession move from an embarrassing and awkward reticence to discussing with our clients the question of cost to being (in most cases) transparent about how much people can save by not litigating and how much they will spend if court proceedings can’t be avoided (as sometimes is the case). This case is a sobering reminder of what can happen when a divorce becomes out of control, but please don’t think that this kind of thing happens all the time. It doesn’t.