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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

divorce and alimony ~ the stigma here and the millions there !!!

Alimony (noun)  [English meaning from]
1. Law :  An allowance for support made under court order to a divorced person by the former spouse, usually the chiefprovider during the marriage. Alimony may also be granted without a divorce, as between legally separated persons.
2. A means of livelihood; maintenance.

Alimony  [also called maintenance; spousal support] is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to his or her spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. The obligation arises from the divorce law or family law of each country. Traditionally, alimony was paid by a husband to his former wife, but since the 1970s there have been moves in many Western countries towards gender equality with a corresponding recognition that a former husband may also be entitled to alimony from his former wife !!!

In earlier days, in India, divorce was a stigma.  Now much is being written about divorce being on the rise in India, sometimes accompanied by hand-wringing about the egos and inflexibility of younger couples, who seem less willing than their parents to stay in marriages they are not happy with. In Western World, it is perceived that more separations occur for much less pressing reasons ! Ongoing unpleasant interactions, disappointment, or emotional distance and the like are  what lead most couples to believe their marriage is over.  This is no post about marital discords and discontinuance – but more about alimony.

Sometime back when there was a Cabinet proposal on giving a divorced wife an equal share of husband’s property, a prominent person quipped – that the man is not my provider contending that very concept is shameful. To some share in ex-husband’s property is loathsome.  In other words, strong, self-respecting women ought to be financially independent and never accept financial assistance  from their ex-husband. Alimony should instead be viewed as financial aid for the needy, reserved for the powerless !!

Here is something reproduced from a news in Daily Mail on a sadistic' businessman ordered to pay £17million divorce settlement to his ex-wife - who netted £37million when she split from first husband.  The news states that a  businessman has been ordered to pay his wealthy ex-wife around £17million after a family court judge criticised him for being 'manipulative'. Judge Sir Peter Singer said property investor Didier Thiry, 53, had shown a 'sadistic side to his personality' since his relationship with Alisa Thiry, 50, broke down.

Ms Thiry - who was previously married to Stephen Marks, founder of high street chain French Connection - pocketed a £37million divorce settlement a decade ago, said Sir Peter.  In her latest divorce, she claimed Mr Thiry had refused to honour the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement and said she was trying to get back what belonged to her.  Didier Thiry was  ordered to pay his ex-wife Alisa  a £17million divorce settlement; the Judge said the eight-figure sum he awarded Ms Thiry could be described as 'restorative justice'.

He also ordered Mr Thiry - who he called an 'unprincipled rogue' - to pay Ms Thiry's £456,000 legal bills. Sir Peter said the couple had separated in 2013 after marrying in 2006, having entered into a pre-nuptial agreement. At  the time of the agreement, Ms Thiry had disclosed assets of nearly £32.3million and Mr Thiry assets of about £8.3million. Ms Thiry's lawyer,  said after the ruling that her client had never sought any of Mr Thiry's money for herself. 'She solely tried to ensure that a clear pre-nuptial agreement was abided by,' - 'That agreement said that each of them should, if they divorced, simply be left in the same position they were in when they married.

Mrs Thiry is the daughter of Raymond Chapman and his wife, Valerie, both hairdressers.  She was born Alisa Chapman in Cheltenham in 1964 but changed her name to Green after her mother's marriage to Ronald Green in 1973.  She and Mr Thiry, a French national who is a well-known figure in Belgium thanks to his flourishing hospitality empire, were married overseas. Their acrimonious divorce battle emerged earlier this year, when it was revealed they were squabbling over their £40million fortune. Ms Thiry said her background was 'fashion and design-orientated' and had told Sir Peter 'my forte is not financial matters'.

At a hearing of the Family Division of the High Court in May, a judge sentenced Mr Thiry to four months in jail for contempt of court for failing to disclose information relating to the loan. The court heard today that he remains in Belgium and has not served the sentence. He previously said that, in Britain, 'the coffee is terrible, especially in prison I guess'.

Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara, [Lord Connemara as he was known]  a British Conservative politician was Governor of Madras between 1886 and 1890.  Lord Connemara was twice married. He married firstly Lady Susan Georgiana, daughter of The 1st Marquess of Dalhousie, a former Governor-General of India.  They divorced in 1890.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Feb 2015.

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