It has been reported that Spice Girl Mel B has petitioned for divorce from her Hollywood producer husband, Stephen Belafonte.
Mel married Stephen in Las Vegas in 2007 with the couple choosing to renew their vows in Egypt in 2008.
Mel has filed her petition for divorce on the 20th March 2017 in the Superior Court of California, citing the date of separation as 28th December 2016.
Mel has requested that the Court end her marriage on the basis that it has broken down due to “irreconcilable differences”.
The divorce petition in the UK, if of course different to its American counterpart, contains five “facts” which a potential petitioner can choose from to support their claim that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The facts include adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion for more than two years, two years separation by consent or five years separation without.
Mel and Stephen have one child together, Madison Brown Belafonte, aged six. Mel has two other children from previous relationships, Phoenix Chi Gulzar aged 18 and Angel Iris Murphy aged 9. Mel has requested in her divorce petition that she and Stephen share custody of their daughter Madison equally.
While it is a positive step that Mel wishes to share the care of her daughter equally with her ex-husband, what she may find is much more “Scary” is the thought of having to share her estimated £40 million fortune.
In her divorce petition Mel has requested that the Court terminate its ability to award spousal maintenance to her husband Stephen. It is not known at this stage if Mel and Stephen entered into a pre-nuptial agreement, however in her petition Mel has advised that she will at a later stage provide the court with details of all relevant assets and liabilities, which would indicate that there was no pre-nuptial agreement in place.
It has been reported in the media that arguments over finances were a contributing factor to the marriage breakdown.
In the UK the starting point for a division of matrimonial assets is a 50/50 spilt unless there is a reason to depart from equality. Without knowing the full details of this case it would seem that Mel could have a case to argue for a departure from equality based on her stellar contribution to the matrimonial wealth.
If you are thinking of ending your marriage and are looking for advice in regards to the divorce process itself, children issues or advice on financial matters following divorce please contact PMC Family Law on 0151 375 9968 for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated solicitors.