Luxembourg princess ‘confirms London’s divorce capital status’

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Oct 18, 2017
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Princess Tessy of Luxembourg chose London for a ruling on her divorce

Stefan Rousseau/PA

London’s status as the divorce centre of the world has been confirmed by a member of the Luxembourg royal family choosing the city for a ruling on the break-up of her marriage, lawyers have said.

Prince Louis separated from Princess Tessy in 2016 after ten years of marriage, and the princess has asked a High Court judge to decide on how their assets should be split.

Mr Justice MacDonald oversaw a preliminary hearing in the family division of the High Court on Friday at which Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, who are both 31 and had a home in London, were present.

Alex Carruthers of the law firm Hughes Fowler Carruthers said that the princess made a wise decision in choosing London for the ruling. “Princess Tessy’s decision to file for divorce in London is a sensible one, as the city, in general, is one of the best jurisdictions in the world for the economically weaker party,” he said.

“It is for this reason that London has earned its title as ‘the divorce capital of the world’.”

Mr Justice MacDonald is expected to oversee a further hearing in the near future. He urged the pair to negotiate to try to settle their differences.

This year another judge signalled the end of the couple’s marriage, which had been solemnised at the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg in September 2006.

District Judge Richard Robinson granted a decree nisi at a family court in London in February after Princess Tessy complained of the prince’s “unreasonable behaviour”.

Neil Russell, a family partner at the law firm Seddons, said: “Divorce tourism is big business and helps make London the divorce capital of the world. England is often considered to be generous when making awards both in terms of capital and more so with maintenance.

“These drivers will be key factors for why the couple decided to divorce here. Other jurisdictions are often considered less generous in divorce, using a more formulaic approach that limits the judge’s discretion. 

“Our judges look at all the circumstances of the case. However, a couple’s conduct is rarely relevant. In some jurisdictions a spouse may lose the right to maintenance for reasons of adultery. In England, adultery is not a relevant circumstance to take into account.”

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