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Attention on Arsenal and Post-Marital Agreements

Sep 28, 2015
Media attention has been caught recently when football icon, Arsene Wenger, and his wife filed a document called a séparé du corps.

The couple have been married for nearly twenty years but no longer live together. Under matrimonial law the couple will be granted automatic divorce within two years on the grounds of their separation. But what is a séparé du corps?

A séparé du corps is very similar to a separation agreement. This is often used by couples who do not wish to get a divorce but feel that they need to separate and agree arrangements such as finances and children.

Similarities may be drawn to pre or post-nuptial agreements whereby a couple agrees certain arrangements in the event that their relationship fails. However, the main difference is that a separation agreement is entered into when divorce is imminent.
Although Arsenal have always kept the lives of their employees secret, Arsene and Annie’s decision to enter into a separation agreement may be seen as an amicable way to ride out what can often become an emotionally turbulent process. 

Divorce in England and Wales is centred on the principle of blame. In circumstances where there is not two years’ separation, in order to apply for divorce one will often have to prove a party is to blame such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour. Arsene and Annie’s decision to agree arrangements and wait the two years allows them to effectively avoid playing the blame game. 

Although we cannot comment on why the decision was made, after years of marriage and raising a family, this approach may be a way for them to part on friendly terms.

If you would like any information on pre/post-nuptial agreements or separation agreements, please feel free to contact a member of our Family Team on 01279 755777.

Lynn Cowley

About the author

Lynn Cowley

Lynn Cowley joined Nockolds in 1990 and was made Partner is 1997; Lynn also heads the Family Team and International Team. Before joining the firm Lynn ...

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