The Division Of Assets… The Tale Of The £300,000 Ring, And The Right Way Assets Should Be Divided…

Cheryl Cole, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini are both married surnames that have passed, and there is a possibility that there may be a Cheryl Payne in the future.

There has been news that Cheryl (the only name she uses now) has divorced ex-husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after only 18 months of marriage.  A spokesperson for the singer confirmed to the pressthat the couple’s decree nisi had been granted and that they were on the way to finalising their divorce.

What’s going on…?

The divorce may have taken place , however, there is reportedly  now a dispute regarding the ring which was gifted to Cheryl from Jean-Bernard to celebrate their first anniversary. It was a family heirloom which belonged to Mr Fernandez-Versini’s family. To add fuel to the fire, the £20 million fortune that Cheryl is reportedly worth is not being split and she is believed to be keeping the entirety of her fortune. It was stated that Cheryl had a distaste for prenuptial contracts and therefore if Jean-Bernard is unwilling to waive interest in a settlement between them both, she may be obliged to part with a section of her assets.

The ring, believed to belong to Jean- Bernard’s mother, was reportedly not disclosed during private financial negotiations and neither did the X-Factor judge’s former husband request it’s return…until now.  French restauranteur J-B has apparently made a request for the item to be returned via a newspaper.

Assets? What assets?

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is dividing the assets because it can cause distress and upset to both parties. I  It is unlikely that both parties will be completely happy with the result.. The best solution is if the parties agree a settlement out of court so as to avoid the costs, time and stress of contested proceedings., The courts in England and Wales also have a very wide discretion as to the financial settlements they can order and therefore there can never be absolute certainty in financial proceedings.

The role of the court…

The starting point in separating capital assets is splitting them 50:50, this will ensure that both parties have exactly the same.  However, this does not reflect the reality of the parties’ situation – one may have higher housing needs, one may have made a far greater contribution to the matrimonial assets – and it is for the parties to make arguments as to why the court should depart from equality.

The judge must take a number of different aspects in account in order to decide how the assets should be divided.. These include the length of marriage, the parties’ earning capacity, needs and contributions, the needs of any dependents and any other relevant factors.

Should lawyers be involved?

Sometimes individuals applying for a divorce may understand the process, the law and be able to reach a settlement without the aid of lawyers and courts.  However, given the multitude of factors and the complexity of the law in this area – not to mention the extensive financial disclosure that may have to be made – more often than not, a lawyer is an essential part of the mix.   A lawyer can ensure that the case is conducted in a manner to ensure that the best outcome possible is achieved as well as providing key pastoral support at a difficult time.

How do parties reach an agreement?

One of the most common initial decisions parties make is to attend mediation. Mediation can benefit parties whom cannot decide as to the division of assets. Mediation allows for a neutral third party to drive negotiations towards a resolution.  Mediation can be crucial in reducing upset and distress and it can also save time and money. This approach can be beneficial particularly when the separation involves children.

For some former couples mediation is simply not appropriate or workable.  Solicitors can also negotiate on a couple’s behalf at arm’s length through correspondence or in a round table meeting.  And if all else fails, contested proceedings have a mid-point designed to facilitate mediation and a compromise for the couple involved.  The Financial Dispute Resolution hearing involves a day of at-court negotiations culminating in a judge giving his opinion on a likely award the court could make if agreement is not reached.

Cheryl & Jean-Bernard

Who knows what the future will hold for Cheryl and J-B?  Financial settlements – whether reached in or out of court – are generally kept confidential in this country so it is unlikely we will ever know what happens to the heirloom ring.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *