British Divorce, the Best in the World

January 20, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. divorce /dɪˈvɔrs, -ˈvoʊrs/ (n.) – the termination of a marriage by law
Example: After the divorce, the couple divided their money and assets.  

2. spouse /spaʊs, spaʊz/ (n.) – a person who is married
Example: The lawyer helps spouses who have trouble with money. 

3. court /kɔrt, koʊrt/ (n.) – a proceeding  in which issues are settled by law
Example: The court decided that it is best if the wife kept the house.

4. nuptial /ˈnʌp ʃəl, -tʃəl/ (adj.) – referring to marriage
Example: The couple celebrates their anniversary by repeating their nuptial vows in a private ceremony.

5. payout /ˈpeɪˌaʊt/ (n.) – a large amount of money given to someone as payment or reward
Example: The woman was able to start her own business using her divorce payout


Read the text below.
The United Kingdom has built an international reputation as the country most favored to file a divorce in.

In recent years, more and more wealthy spouses from all over the world choose the British court to handle their divorce cases. These include couples from China, America, Russia, and Malaysia. According to Sandra Davis, a British lawyer and the head of one of the largest law firms in London, 75 percent of their clients are either from or linked to other countries.

This is because the British court evaluates all the assets more thoroughly compared with other countries.

Aside from that, British divorce laws are often more favorable to the less wealthy party in the marriage. British judges have an obligation to favor an equal splitting of assets when handling a divorce case. Therefore, the party with the fewer assets has a greater chance of gaining more assets than he or she originally had. This also means that pre-nuptial agreements are not legally recognized in British courts.

The country’s record for the divorce case with the highest payout was that of a Russian couple in 2011, in which the wife received 220 million pounds as divorce settlement. However, this may be beaten by a current proceeding between a Malaysian businessman with a wealth of 400 million pounds and his wife, a former Malaysian beauty queen.

The wife won the right to file for a divorce in the United Kingdom after her lawyers successfully proved that she is legally qualified to do so because of her long-term residency in the country.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, why does the British court favor the less wealthy when it comes to divorce?
·         Do you approve of pre-nuptial agreements? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are the possible reasons why people get a divorce?
·         Please describe the divorce laws in your country. 

January 20, 2015