Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi to divorce today

Just seven weeks after the art collector was photographed with his hands around her throat the couple will be officially divorced today.

TV chef Nigella, 53, and Charles, 70, are worth a reported £150 million and share a £12 million house in Chelsea.

Nigella filed the petition, citing her husband’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’ as grounds to end their ten year marriage.

The couple are believed to have signed a pre-nuptial agreement when they married in 2003. Courts have been known to disregard  pre-nuptial agreements. All depends on the circumstances in which such agreements were entered into, but on the whole and provided the contents of the agreement are not obviously unfair, they are more likely to be upheld these days, following the well-known case of Radmacher -v- Granatino. It is therefore assumed that the Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson are unlikely to pursue any formal financial claims against each other.

The case will be heard at London’s High Court before District Judge Aitken. With neither party expected to contest the divorce the Judge is expected to grant a decree nisi. This means that the court sees no reason why a divorce can’t be granted.

The pair will then have to wait for at least six weeks after the decree nisi hearing until their divorce is legally finalised by way of a decree absolute, when their 10 year marriage will be brought to an end. A court order dealing with finances can then take effect after the decree absolute – and in their case, as in every case, it is always wise to obtain a financial order (even where everything is agreed) to ensure that all matters are concluded in a final, binding settlement.

If you want information and guidance on initiating divorce proceedings, financial proceedings, or any other family law issue, please contact Stephanie Calthrop-Owen, head of Morrisons Solicitors’ Family Team on 01737 854503 or email [email protected].


Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.

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