English divorce/Scheidung in England

Yesterday, John Bolch of Family Lore linked to Gary Dean’s divorce site. There, under an American graphic, Gary reports the full details of his divorce settlement. (See also the Times report, with photos of the couple).

Usually, such details are kept secret, but apparently there was a lot of gossip in the Blackpool and Preston area about how mean Gary had been.

On the 5th July 2007 in the Preston High Court of Justice before The Honourable Mrs Justice Baron DBE Helen and I agreed a settlement and issues between us were resolved.

We reached an agreement which the Court approved, and the Judge commented that she considered to be a fair and reasonable settlement.

The Court was not asked to assess what I would have to pay.

I Gary Dean (The Respondent) to pay and/or give to the Applicant (Helen Louise Dean):

1. A CASH LUMP SUM of £3,719,000.00 (three million seven hundred & nineteen thousand pounds)

2. Plus £15,000.00 per child per annum until the age of 17 years or the completion of full time education.

3. Plus all private school fees

4. Plus all jewellery, diamonds and watches, Mercedes E500, Audi Convertible 3.0.

5. Plus cherished number plates 7HD and 10HD.

I have never complained that the settlement was unfair.

There is no reason to doubt the information on the website. What we don’t know is how much the total marital property was.

I nearly blogged this, because it’s unusual to see. Now I see via Handakte WebLAWg (curiously referring to ‘Scheidungspapiere’) that Bild has taken up the story. In fact, newspapers seem increasingly to feed off the web (this story appeared in the Times too).

In England, pre-nuptial contracts (Eheverträge) aren’t (yet) recognized. The court can decide how to split a couple’s property. In this case, the parties came to an agreement, which the court accepted. The Times article suggests that the fact that, after the divorce, Helen Dean wanted a small house in a gated community in Blackpool, whereas Gary Dean wanted a huge house with lake, tennis court and swimming pool, started the locals talking about how small her divorce settlement must have been.

In Bild, the whole affair becomes a Rosenkrieg (the Wars of the Roses have a different meaning in German).

Sie heißen Gary (47) und Helen Louise Dean, haben vier Kinder und führen einen Rosenkrieg, den nun die Öffentlichkeit miterleben darf…

This is pure invention, except insofar as every divorce is a Rosenkrieg for Bild. It also writes

Er sei von einigen Leuten als Bösewicht hingestellt worden, der seine Frau und Kinder fast mittellos zurückgelassen habe und sich mit Millionen davongemacht habe, betonte der Brite. „Das ist einfach nicht wahr.“ Mal sehen, ob nun die entlarvte Ex-Frau in Erklärungsnöte kommt…

But there’s no suggestion in the English reports that the rumours came from the ex-wife – on the contrary, there’s no suggestion of any bitterness between the spouses. In other details, Preston has become ‘ein beschaulicher Ort’ and the annual maintenance for each child has been incorrectly converted (should be almost 19,000 euros).

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