Lessons from Aquilini’s Divorce Settlement

Photo by Wolfgang Zenz

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The recent settlement of the Aquilini divorce case highlights a number of issues that family lawyers deal with on a daily basis.

In the Aquilini case, the Aquilinis were both concerned about the effect of a trial on their children and this was undoubtedly a key factor in their decision to settle, even though it was at the last minute.

“This settlement means we will be able to keep our personal lives private and, most importantly, avoid the negative impact of a trial on the children we both love.”….View Source

The case highlights several issues to consider for people going through a divorce:

  • Is it possible to collaborate on a resolution of support, parenting rights, and division of property without having to air the family “laundry” in public?
  • Can parents really keep the “best interests” of their children in mind when threatening court action and knowing that, unless their children are babies, they will inevitably be affected by it?
  • Even where parents can agree on property and support issues, where minor children are involved, does it make sense to have a parenting co-ordinator involved in order to smooth communication and parenting arrangements so that the children can be kept out of their parents’ dispute to the greatest extent possible? Under the new BC Family Law Act, where issues arise involving children, the only consideration for our courts will be the best interests of the children.

The Aquilini case also highlights the fact that, for high net worth individuals, a settlement will likely always be preferable to “fighting it out in court” even if they give up more than a 50/50 share of the family property. There is a price for privacy of this sort.

If you have questions about your rights in a family dispute, call us.

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