Celebrity divorces in the spotlight

The newspapers are currently full of stories detailing the legal issues surrounding many a celebrity divorce, whether it be the custody battle ensuing between Madonna and Guy Ritchie or the financial arrangement between Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and his wife Slavica.

While many people may enjoy a bit of juicy celebrity gossip and earnestly turn the pages of magazines to find out the latest announcements, the fact remains that these cases can highlight some of the important and often difficult issues surrounding a divorce.

One of the most prevalent cases at the moment is that of singer Madonna and her director husband of eight years, Guy Ritchie. After announcing their divorce, proceedings have moved quickly and earlier this week it was finalised at a short hearing.

Although there were no battles over the Material Girl's £300 million fortune, with Guy walking away with nothing, there were issues surrounding the custody of their children.

The couple were said to be clashing over details of how their sons Rocco, eight, and three-year-old adopted David will split their time between their parents in London and the US.

Children's needs may be something which has to be given special consideration in divorce cases and DIY divorce kits could help to avoid taking them through the court system and causing upset.

The Madonna and Guy Ritchie case may also highlight the need to sign a prenuptial agreement as this can help to avoid lengthy disputes and arguments should one partner find they have grounds for divorce.

Although they will not have the pressure of ending their marriage in the public eye, some couples may find they want to keep things simple and low-key when it comes to their divorce.

Money can often be one of the most talked about matters when it comes to celebrity break-ups.

One widely publicised settlement was that which resulted following the divorce of Heather Mills and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

Ms Mills was awarded £24.3 million in the case, the BBC reports, and as part of the deal she was granted £14 million for herself and £2.5m to buy a house in London.

However, this was only a snippet of the £125 million which she first sought and more than the £15.8 million which Sir Paul originally offered her.

Speaking at the time, Ms Mills said she was "very, very happy" and "it was an incredible result to secure mine and my daughter's future".

The most recent divorce announcement from the world of celebrities comes from Bernie Ecclestone, whose wife Slavica announced that she and the Formula One boss are to split after being married for 24 years.

Lawyers have claimed that this settlement could break all records, according to the Times.

The current British record for a divorce settlement is though to be £48 million which was paid by the insurance magnate John Charman to his wife Beverley in 2006.

However, the division of Mr Ecclestone's billions could end up beating this fortune.

Whatever the outcome, the public are likely to be following the details of this, and many other celebrity divorces for a long time to come.

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Published on: November 28, 2008

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