Becksit: The ‘fake news’ frenzy about the Beckham’s divorce

High profile divorce

The media frenzy about the Beckham’s ‘supposed’ divorce on Friday got me thinking how difficult it must be when news about your marriage and possible divorce (in this case not true) is a trending topic on Twitter.

I help people deal with divorce every day but it never becomes normalised. Just as each family is different, each case is different. Behind the brand, the Beckhams are a family, open to the same stress and pain that all people face when a divorce takes place but in their case the whole world knows.

So, what challenges do people face when going through a very high-profile case?

In many ways, the answer is simple. The problems and issues are in principle no different from those which all couples facing the breakdown of their relationship encounter and must deal with.

In other words, telling the children, reassuring them that they are still loved by both of their parents, working out what time they will spend with each of them, and sorting out the finances.

Having said that there are two big differences.

The first is that when a couple is so wealthy and live their lives in the public eye everything becomes so much more complex.  From the valuation and splitting of significant financial resources (property, investments, businesses, pensions which are often tied up in complex corporate and legal structures) to children, custody and maintenance.

The second follows on from that, namely managing the inevitable publicity and the damage which that may cause.

Therefore, speed in finding a resolution and privacy is vital.

As is getting the right team in place: not just the right lawyers but professional advisers, forensic accountants, financial advisers, PR and image consultants and publicists.

Court proceedings need to be avoided at all costs. It’s expensive, takes far too long and confidentiality is not guaranteed.

If agreement proves impossible then the simplest and quickest way to achieve a resolution is through Family Arbitration under the auspices of The Institute of Family Law Arbitrators.

Arbitration is available to couples who are unable, married or not, to reach an agreement about the arrangements for their children or how to resolve their financial arrangements – whether it is a high-profile case or not.

Splitting finances and assets and solving custody and maintenance for children within any marriage can be a very difficult time. For those going through a high profile & net worth divorce, the layers of complexity magnify this difficult situation.

Graham Coy

Graham is based at the firm's London office.

His career as a family law specialist has spanned three decades. He is an experienced advocate, mediator and arbitrator who has worked in all areas of family law.

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2 comments

Helen Dudden - June 11, 2018 at 12:11pm

I agree, true or not true, it’s news. Newspapers sell newspapers, because of so called interest in trivia of this kind.
I write not in the problems of so called news, but on divorce. A sad situation for all. Court action and the way it used to be, who is right and who is wrong, no longer exists. I believe in mediation, and the ending of a relationship that needs to end.

Sophie - June 12, 2018 at 2:24pm

Being in the public eye adds a whole new level to the family disputes that happen to “ordinary” people. It really must be difficult to have your personal life, true or untrue, splashed all over social media. And, you’re right, high profile divorces involving a large amount of wealth and assets can be far more complex and messy.

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