Wales on Sunday, 29th November 2009
Leading divorce lawyer, Melanie Hamer, said the behaviour of Katie Price and Peter Andre during their break-up is typical of a lot of divorces. “While one person in the relationship moves on quite quickly, often the decision-maker, it normally takes the other party much longer to adjust to the situation” she said.
“I suspect Peter had been thinking about ending the marriage for a while and had probably spent a lot of time behind the scenes sorting it out. It hit Katie like a bombshell, but instead of admitting she was struggling to catch up, she put on a brave face and went round saying she was glad to be rid of him. She was really hurt and wanted to hurt him back, so it’s no surprise she started behaving in a silly way and bad-mouthing him”.
Ms Hamer, a partner at Cardiff-based Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, said she would also advise patience – rather than rushing into a divorce. “If they push too hard and too quickly it will backfire and things may become nasty and difficult,” said the mother-of-two. If I am acting for the person who’s had the decision thrust upon them, I advise them to take time to deal with the situation and not feel bullied into rushing things through. I always give couples options, including that of reconciliation. Some give it a go and it fails, but at least they’ve tried to patch things up. It’s important not to rush into things too quickly. Because Katie and Peter are in the public eye, I think they were desperate to get the divorce petition in first so they could say, ‘Haha, I’m the one divorcing you, it’s your fault’. There was a lot of ego involved”.
Ms Hamer has dealt with a number of couples who have thought they wanted a divorce, but after giving it a bit of time and thought, have opted against it. She said “One of the saddest cases was an elderly couple. The husband suddenly decided he wanted a divorce, which was completely out of the blue for his wife, so she defended it and eventually they got back together. However, he died not long after they reconciled. They’d spent a year in a divorce battle and he died a few months after it was sorted. What a waste of 12 months of their lives together.”
“Another couple had been married for many years, but then the wife discovered her husband had been unfaithful on a number of occasions. Although she was upset, they decided to try and reconcile because they’d been together for such a long time, and at the moment, it’s working”.
The divorce lawyer has also dealt with partners who have rushed though a divorce, and then decided to get back together again.
“This is really sad because they spend a huge amount of money on splitting but then change their mind and decide to give it another go”, she said.
“They could’ve saved all that money had they not just taken time to talk things through and patch things up before rushing through with a divorce. “Take Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor for example – they married each other twice”.
She added: “People don’t realise what’s involved in a divorce. I think you need to get both husband and wife on the same page and in the same emotional state before going through with it so it can be dealt with amicably and not aggressively and so each party can come out of it with their dignity intact”.