Aloke Ray a 41-year-old lawyer, and his wife, Charoo Sekhiri, a doctor in her late-30’s, met through an on-line dating service in 2008. They married in 2009 and had a child.
Their once-happy union began to fall apart in 2011 and divorce proceedings began. Instead of dealing with the obvious family law issues, including parenting and financial arrangements, the lawyer and the doctor began to fight over whether their divorce should be handled by the British Courts.
As my regular readers may know, Britain is a divorce jurisdiction that women love and men avoid, at all costs.
Nonetheless, how bad could it be financially for Mr. Ray given their holy matrimony only lasted two years? Apparently, he believed it would be very bad and his wife apparently reacted in kind because to date, this couple have spent over $1.3 million dollars (Cdn) between them in their battle royal.
Mr. Justice Holman recently referred to their “staggering” legal fees describing the total as equivalent to one-quarter of their combined net worth of approximately $5 million dollars.
He also had plenty more to say. He begged them to resolve their differences to avoid the financial suicide they seem bent on inflicting upon themselves.
And he said their “sustained forensic struggle” had been “painful to observe”.
Judge Holman ruled that the British court had authority to hear their case as the couple were “legally domiciled” in Britain, although each was of Indian origin and both presently resided in Singapore.
Domicile, sometimes described as the location a person “intends to live and die in”, is frequently resorted to when jurisdictional issues arise in legal cases.
As for this presumably intelligent couple, they seem to have completely missed what must be uppermost during divorce litigation, namely, an ongoing “cost/benefit” analysis.
Is the money being spent worth the potential outcome, based on a best-case and worst-case scenario?
Finally, why would Mr. Ray want to embarrass his highly respected American law firm, White & Case, where he enjoys an impressive reputation as an arbitrator…. yes, someone who espouses out-of-court solutions? Beats me!
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang