Manisha Raja is the Head of Family at Axiom Stone Solicitors, a full-service legal practice with offices Edgware, Mayfair and Harrow in London and Birmingham. In this special column, she helps readers navigate through the complex field of divorce and related settlements.
Along with many people, I have been following the ongoing saga of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard libel hearing, following their acrimonious divorce in 2017 and domestic abuse allegations, with a mixture of feelings ranging from shock to sadness.
As a Family Lawyer, I have wondered how did their marriage end in such a “car-crash”. The costs to the parties, emotionally, financially and socially are hard to fathom. Could the divorce proceedings and domestic abuse allegations been the start?
Unfortunately, divorce or children proceedings can turn acrimonious and confrontational very quickly. A recent YouGov poll commissioned by, a professional group for family lawyers, found that now nearly 60 per cent of divorce cases are “DIY” [Do it yourself] divorces, with parties taking little or no legal advice, leading to increasing acrimony, stress and emotional damage to the parties and children. Many of the poll respondents were not aware of the alternatives to court proceedings, such as solicitor negotiations, mediation and arbitration.
The Family team here at Axiom Stone are Resolution members and follow the Resolution Code of Practice. We work with you to negotiate a financial settlement with your spouse or sorting out children matters, initially seeking to resolve family issues in a civil and non-confrontational way, to try to ensure the well-being of the whole family. Emergency injunctions can be obtained to protect the welfare and safety of a party and their children.
Axiom Stone have continued to work throughout the pandemic, offering remote consultations, dealing with divorce and financial applications, children applications, injunctions, pre-nuptials agreements, as well as cohabitation disputes etc. We have experience in dealing with high net worth clients, such as business owners, property developers, and those clients with large pensions or overseas assets as well as those clients who have more modest assets. We can also provide advice on pre-nuptial agreements, to protect an individual's wealth and pre-marital assets, in the event of a future divorce.
As the Christmas holidays approach, you may need to take legal advice as to the arrangements for children, injunctions etc. You may be thinking of a possible divorce next year, relocating with your children, for example. You should strongly consider taking early legal advice before making any decisions.
by Manisha Raja
Manisha Raja has exclusively practiced in Matrimonial and Family Law and has a wealth of experience dealing with matrimonial financial matters, handling medium to high net worth clients from directorships, partnerships and business owners.
*Info: If you are affected by any of the issues above and need legal advice, please contact Manisha Raja, Head of Family, : MR@AxiomStone.co.uk