Owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich and his wife have announced this week that they are separating. However, rather than air their dirty laundry in public, the couple have confirmed their commitment to “jointly raising [their] two children” and stated an intention to “remain close friends, parents, and partners in the projects [they] developed together…”
In any family breakdown involving children, whilst the parents may no longer see eye-to-eye, there is an enduring parenting relationship and it is important for families to work together to establish arrangements that are in the best interests of the children. The Family Court adopt a ‘No Order’ principle when it comes to the law relating to Children. It is considered that generally it is not in a child’s best interests to have an order relating to their care, unless it is necessary. Therefore parents are encouraged to work together to agree arrangements that best meet the needs of their children and that are going to work in practice for their family. At SA Law, all our family solicitors are members of Resolution, an organisation of family lawyers who sign up to a code of practice recognising a commitment to dealing with divorce and family breakdown in a constructive and non-confrontational manner.
The statement from Mr Abramovich and his Wife also said that the couple intend to "continue to work together as co-founders of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and the New Holland Island cultural centre in Saint Petersburg". The couple appear to recognise the negative impact that an acrimonious separation could have, not only on their children but on their joint business ventures.
In cases where there is a joint business venture, it is quite possible to continue working together so long as you have a clear understanding of your respective roles within the business. As such, it is sensible to ensure that any shareholder or partnership agreements set this out clearly and to consider mechanisms for dealing with any future disputes that may arise in relation to the business. In circumstances where you no longer feel able to continue working together, then it is likely that a business valuation may be required so that consideration can be given as to how best to deal with the business as an asset within the context of resolving the matrimonial finances and reaching a settlement. In circumstances such as this, it may be appropriate to seek corporate or employment law advice, in addition to a specialist family lawyer. As a full-service law firm at SA Law, we value cross-departmental working and regularly utilise the experience and specialist advice available from our colleagues in other departments to assist in family matters.