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About Christine Rawsthorne

Welcome to Sultan Lloyd Solicitors' latest news section. This section provides you with the latest news and developments in the field of Immigration Law, Family Law and Human Rights and Asylum Law. Also, you can download our newsletter bulletin from the sub-menu on the right hand side of this page. It keeps you up to date with the latest legal news and developments throughout the UK.
Christine Rawsthorne works as a Solicitor in the Family Department. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 and worked at a Legal 500 firm for 10 years before joining Sultan Lloyd Solicitors in 2014. Christine specialises in Family Law and deals mainly with divorce, the division of assets arising out of a divorce, civil partnership dissolutions, disputes concerning children, cohabitee disputes, injunctions and an increasing number of pre-nuptial agreements.
Christine Rawsthorne

The First Three Steps You Should Take To Protect Yourself in a Divorce

If you have decided to end your marriage, either independently or in joint agreement with your spouse, there are a number of steps you need to take immediately to protect your best interests.

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Why the Rich Divorce Differently

Before Easter, Asos co-founder Nick Robertson, the 298th richest man in the world, found himself £70 million poorer after a High Court Judge awarded his wife £70million, a third of his fortune.  In making the award, Mr Justice Holman reiterated the point that marriage is a partnership of equals.

The Judge acknowledged that Mr Robertson was the “moneymaker” in the marriage, but pointed out that Mrs Robertson had been “an excellent homemaker and an excellent mother”.

This is not the only high-profile divorce in the papers this month. A High Court has also ordered the Chairman of Laura Ashley, Dr Khoo Kay Peng, to offer his estranged wife settlement of their divorce after running up legal bills of £6.1 million.  The 21-day ultimatum is the first time a British Court has exercised its powers to order an ‘open offer of settlement’ to avoid further escalating legal costs.

Divorce is a traumatic, stressful experience for everyone involved. Divorce among high-net-worth individuals can provide extra challenges in the form of negotiating spousal and child maintenance, uncovering and dividing assets (including those held off-shore), and sorting out tax liabilities and pensions.

Spousal Maintenance and Child Support

Settlements for spousal maintenance and child support can reach eye-watering amounts when wealthy spouses decide to part company. In cases involving middle-income parents, the approach to child support payments is more formulaic.  However, high-net-worth couples tend to have children in fee-paying schools, receiving extra tuition and participating in expensive hobbies. This means the child support payments tend to be based on the ‘needs’ of the child, which is a subjective test and can lead to battles amongst parents where top up payments are sought.

The sum of spousal maintenance sometimes awarded to the more financially vulnerable spouse (usually the wife) in high-net-worth divorces can seem excessive; however, it has to be remembered that in many cases one party gives up their career and future earning potential to support the spouse who is working.

The Court will take into account the following when deciding on the amount of spousal maintenance to be awarded:

  • each partner's needs, assets and ability to earn income;

  • the standard of living before the break-up of the marriage;

  • how long you have been married and how old you are;

  • any special needs such as a disability;

  • the contributions each spouse made to the marriage (this can be financial contribution but can also be contribution by looking after the home and bringing up children).

Uncovering Assets

Often wealthy individuals going through a divorce argue over substantial businesses involving shares, and domestic and off-shore assets. This can lead to complications when negotiating financial settlements.  It is imperative that both parties seek an accurate valuation of any businesses, assets and pensions involved in the financial settlement to ensure each receives a fair settlement.

In 2015, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory to spouses who claim that marital assets have been hidden from the Court during divorce proceedings.

The case involved two women, Alison Sharland, and Varsha Gohil, who both said their ex-husbands misled judges about how much they were worth.  The Court held that spouses have a duty to make full and frank disclosure of all relevant information to one another and the Court.

The women’s divorce settlements were subsequently re-opened.

The case has been seen as a stark warning to those who seek to hide or misrepresent assets during a divorce case.

In Summary

If you are involved in a high-net-worth divorce it is vital to seek legal advice from a Solicitor who is not only experienced in the legal aspects involved in the settlement but has connections to financial advisors and wealth managers who can help uncover assets and unpick complicated corporate structures to ensure you receive a fair and just settlement.

Sultan Lloyd Solicitors have the experience and expertise required to successfully advise clients on high-net-worth divorce.  To find out how we can help you, please call our Birmingham office on 0121 222 7643 to make an appointment with one of our family law team.



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Christine Rawsthorne

Child Abduction - Prevention and Recovery of International Children

Under UK law, if one parent moves a child across an international border without the consent of the other parent or despite a court order forbidding the removal of the child from the UK, they are abducting the child.

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"Will I Still Get to Live With You" - Understanding Arrangements for Children After Divorce

Ending a marriage takes on a whole new dimension of grief and guilt when children are involved.  The more informed parents are as to their options around arrangements for their children, the better prepared they will be to support them through what can be a traumatic time, no matter how amicable the parting of ways is.

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Parental Responsibility - The Essential Facts Fathers Need to Know

 For some time, the Family Court in the UK has been considered ‘wife-friendly’ when it comes to handling divorces.  So much so that in 2011, legal firms started whispering about the divorce 'race', where high-net-worth couples who wanted to end their marriages vied with each other to begin divorce proceedings in the EU country they felt would give him or her the best settlement.  British men it seems, are more likely than ever before to file for divorce overseas rather than risk having to make a large settlement in English courts.

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Christine Rawsthorne

Protecting your business assets during divorce

Successful business owners will more often than not have sacrificed a great deal in terms of their personal lives, time and money to build up their empire. The prospect of losing a sizeable portion of their fortune as a result of divorce proceedings is a scary thought.

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Christine Rawsthorne

Fraud and Financial Proceedings within Divorce

In the news last week there was a judgment which was described as a “landmark” whereby two women, namely Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil were told by the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, that they could seek larger payouts from their ex husbands because they had not fully disclosed their assets at the time the original financial orders were made.

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Who should pay the bills if we separate?

When one household splits in two there are always going to be financial implications in that there will be two sets of bills and two sets of mortgages or rent which all need to be paid from the same amount of income that previously serviced just one home.

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Christine Rawsthorne

Is it adultery if we’ve already separated?

Many people believe that once they have separated from their spouse they are within their rights to do whatever they like in terms of their personal lives. However, even after you have separated you are still legally married until such time as there has been a final divorce (known as a Decree Absolute). What this means is that if you start a physical relationship with another person after you have separated but before there has been a divorce then you are committing adultery in the eyes of the law.

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Christine Rawsthorne

Can I make a claim against property located abroad in divorce proceedings?

When a couple’s finances come to be divided as part of divorce proceedings then each party must disclose to the other details of all the property, land and buildings that they have an interest in. This includes property, land and buildings located abroad. Sometimes people believe that because they have say, a holiday home in Spain or land in Pakistan, that property is outside of the jurisdiction of the Courts of this country and it cannot be touched by their estranged spouse.

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Christine Rawsthorne

What can I do about revenge porn?

In a world where technology is moving at a faster pace than ever before, we have a legal system that is struggling to keep up with the quite recent phenomenon of what is widely referred to as revenge porn. The most common complaints come from one person (the victim) who was in a relationship with another (the perpetrator) and the victim originally shared explicit images with them because they trusted them and never dreamed that the images would go any further. When the relationship comes to an end the perpetrator might feel aggrieved and take his or her revenge by sharing those images with the rest of the world.
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Can the Court order that I should be tested for drugs or alcohol?

It is quite common these days to come across cases where one party is not allowing the other to spend time with their child(ren) because of allegations of drug and/or alcohol misuse. From speaking to colleagues and local professionals and based upon my own experience, I would estimate that in around 50% of cases the alleged substance mis-user will go to their first appointment with their Solicitor stating their innocence. At that first appointment they are informed that once the Court proceedings are underway, there will be something known as a directions appointment – a hearing where the Judge orders what steps need to be taken to move the case towards a conclusion. One thing that will usually be ordered where an allegation of substance misuse is made is testing for substance concerned. It is quite surprising how many admissions of substance misuse are forthcoming once it becomes apparent that testing is likely to take place.
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Christine Rawsthorne

Another hit for “infidelity websites”

In March this year I wrote about a religious group in France who were taking legal action against a website known as Gleeden, claiming that the site’s main aim of promoting infidelity was contrary to one of France’s civil codes which compels citizens to owe a duty of fidelity to their spouse.
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When does child maintenance stop?

If you have a family based arrangement (i.e. you have reached an agreement with your ex-partner concerning child maintenance) then the child maintenance payments continue in line with that agreement. One parent might have agreed for example that they will continue to provide maintenance until the child concerned finds full time employment and leaves home, meaning that child could be well into their 20’s before the maintenance comes to an end. Bear in mind that the agreement might break down in which case the receiving parent might have to ask for a statutory arrangement to be put in place.
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Christine Rawsthorne

Who should pay for the divorce?

One thing that many people are worried about when faced with the prospect of divorce proceedings is the legal costs that can be incurred both in terms of Solicitors fees and the Court costs. Currently the Family Courts charge a fee of £410.00 to issue a divorce petition and Solicitors fees vary from firm to firm. The person who completes the petition and sends it to the Court (the Petitioner) is often the party who feels aggrieved at the behaviour of their estranged spouse (the Respondent) and they often question why they should have to pay these costs when they have only had to start the case because of the actions of their ex. On the flip side, the Respondent might say that as the Petitioner is the one seeking the divorce, they should foot the costs.

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Christine Rawsthorne

Can I Divorce in the UK if I live abroad?

The simple answer to this is that if you have a sufficient connection to this country then probably “yes”. It is important to note that Scotland has different laws to those of England and Wales and this blog only relates to the latter two.
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Christine Rawsthorne

Is there such thing as a no blame divorce?

Many family lawyers are keen to emphasise that they try to deal with divorce cases in a constructive and amicable manner which not only helps to reduce the hostility between the parties but it can also reduce the resulting legal costs. However, there is one large obstacle to overcome which is that except for in limited circumstances, it is not possible to get a divorce without some degree of fault or blame being put on one of the spouses.

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When it’s more than an affair of the heart

When one person discovers that their spouse has done the dirty on them they are usually heartbroken. Often, by the time they reach the Solicitor’s office a little of the emotion will have subsided and they will be moving towards the stage of feeling angry and resentful. They will want to hit back at their ex in any way possible and sometimes this means that I am faced with a client who is adamant that they will only consider divorcing their spouse on the basis of adultery and they insist that the co-conspirator should be outed and named in the petition.
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I’ll have the bed – you can take the sofa

When a marriage comes to an end the average couple are going to find it difficult to divide income that has supported one household into enough income to support two. Particularly during the recession, there was a rise in the number of separated spouses who had no choice but to remain living under the same roof.
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Can your child really be taken into care simply because you are a smoker?

It was widely reported in a number of newspapers this week that a 2 year old boy had been taken into care because his parents smoked too much. The story made the front page of certain newspapers and a good deal of the reporting focused on the testimony of a health visitor who gave evidence to the Court in terms that she had never seen such a “smoky house” in her 10 year career.

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In the course of delivering excellent service to best serve the individual cases, we have emerged successful in a number of cases.

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Read our latest blogs

Love conquers all; except the UK visa system. Every year, many couples endure forced separation because one party cannot obtain a UK Spouse visa. During her time in as Home Secretary, Theresa May to...
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EU citizens residing in the UK are worried. They are right to be so. The referendum result is an emotional upheaval. But politics is one thing and law another. At Sultan Lloyd we understand the fe...

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