Financial Settlements & Divorce: Russian Ex-Beauty Queen’s Financial Strategy?

Russian Ex-Beauty Queen’s Financial Strategy? She tells divorce Court she will find a new husband!

Ex-Beauty Queen who is in a divorce bitter fight with her American lawyer husband over a £6 million fortune, tells the Court she has no intention of getting a job and instead, is searching for husband number three!

Ekaterina Parfenova, 42, and Richard Fields, 59, separated in March 2013 following 13 years of marriage. Yet upon the parties’ divorce, it is abundantly clear that Ms Parfenova does not consider herself to fall into the usual category where most divorcee wives are expected and required to generate their own future income; whether that be through skills already acquired or following a period of training, employment is thereafter obtained. To the contrary, Ms Parfenova would prefer to stay at home with her children in the lifestyle she claims she has been made accustomed to and sees no reason why she should earn a living.

Ms Parfenova’s is claiming £2.6 million from her husband, including  £75,000 a year for holidays and mortgage payments on a £5.5 million flat near Kensington Palace which she considers is “appropriate” to her needs as well as £414,000 a year for herself and their two children plus extra payments relating to assets.

On the other hand, Mr Fields has offered to pay her £230,000 a year and has suggested she consider living in the cheaper but fashionable area of Battersea, south of the Thames. He has claimed that Ms Parfenova only married him for his money, yet Ms Parfenova has disputed this, claiming that when they met she thought he was merely a driver and that whilst Mr Fields held the purse strings during the marriage, he placed Ms Parfenova into the lifestyle to which she became accustomed to and this should be accounted for when the Court determines the financial division of matrimonial assets.

The case is one of the first high profile Family Court divorce hearings of its kind to be open to the public, after the judge, Mr Justice Holman, refused requests for it to be behind closed doors insisting people had a right to see justice “at work”. We have been given a rare insight into the finer details of this extraordinary squabble, in which it can be clearly seen the lengths that some parties are prepared to go to in order to defend their position upon divorce – albeit an expensive one!

Whilst the judge has made repeated attempts to get the couple to settle, his attempts for them to do so have so far fallen on deaf ears as the matter was adjourned to a later date when final speeches will be made and thereafter a reserved judgment will be given.

It appears this couple have no issue with their dirty laundry being aired in public, and whilst it appears as interesting reading material to us as onlookers to this case, the real lesson to be learnt here is that parties should attempt to reach a swift and amicable agreement outside of Court where possible, for the benefit of both parties.

It is absolutely vital that if you are considering divorce, you seek independent legal advice in order to devise a strategy as to how best you approach the matter of your matrimonial finances as the last thing you will want to happen is to end up like either Ms Parfenova or Mr Fields in expensive and time consuming legal proceedings, where your fate is entirely at the mercy of the Court whether you like it or not.

Here at Pinder Reaux, we report on developments in legislation and case law as it happens, and when the case of Parfenova and Fields has been determined, we will be reporting it here online for you.

In the meantime if you are considering divorce or a financial settlement from your partner, please contact one of our family lawyers who will discuss your matter with you.

Rebecca Antoniou

Associate Solicitor

Pinder Reaux & Associates