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La Dolce Vita turning sour on divorce payment

La Dolce Vita turning sour on divorce payment for wealthy Italians as reported this week may indicate the winds of change for separation settlements in Cheshire according to Northwich solicitors Stonehewer Moss. The Supreme Court in Italy has stopped courts from making lifetime maintenance orders to uphold high lifestyles, in a case widely reported here called Grilli v Lowenstein. The judges seemed taciturn (from the Roman historian Tactitus` curt writing style) in briefly commenting that times have changed. While our brief summers may make thoughts of Italian vistas and the sweet life wistful, the case may have hard headed relevance in pre Brexit Britain as the media reports make an intriguing comment upon the views of the Court about human rights as follows, “The judges said they also were making the new ruling because an obligation for ex spouses to pay high maintenance could constitute “an obstacle to starting a new family,” which is a right guaranteed by the European Court of Human Rights.” There is common application of the European convention on human rights here thanks at present to the Human Rights Act and this common sense observation by the Italian Judiciary should be taken as sensibly in Cheshire divorces as it is on the Veneto.

The issue is this; on deciding a fair outcome for a couple in divorce the court considers all the circumstances including the length of marriage, lifestyle and resources but a body of case law exists that suggest after along marriage when income resources are not equal with a high earner that person should pay without limit reflecting the lifestyle as far as it can be unless with certainty the court can find as fact the weaker earner can replace that income source by a certain date. A hard working high earner in a divorce not necessarily of his or her own making might then find that re-marriage is impossible because of the demands on his or her income arising from divorce.

Cui bono? Cicero would have been a good choice as advocate in a divorce; certainly the payer may think it is not him or that benefits and a wrecked marriage reaching into the rest of your life logically does place such an obstacle to starting afresh with another family. Perhaps the time has come for the change in society to be reflected in divorce settlements.

La Dolce Vita turning sour on divorce payment; a conundrum that can find resolution with a positive approach to negotiation or the divorce process.

For advice negotiation and representation in divorce in Cheshire please call 01606 872200 or email visit


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Stonehewer Moss Solicitors, Citadel House, Solvay Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4DP

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