Daily Mail

Divorce deal where wives always keep... the handbags!

- By Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspond­ent

WARRING couples can protect their wealth in the divorce courts by buying luxury items or collectabl­es, say lawyers.

Designer handbags, high-end bicycles and even fishing rods can help a partner end the split with a higher share of their fortune intact.

The loophole has opened up because of the growing pressure on family courts to speed up the time it takes to divide a couple’s assets. Judges are increasing­ly likely to overlook personal possession­s as long as they do not appear to be worth a major share of the couple’s wealth, said a report by Hall Brown Family Law.

Divorcees could hold on to items including jewellery, watches, television­s, stamp collection­s and even cutlery as long as they are not conspicuou­sly valuable.

In one recent case, a wife persuaded a court to ignore her 25 Christmas baubles – which were worth £60 each.

But James Brown, of Hall Brown Family Law, said: ‘That should not be regarded as an opportunit­y for spouses to engage in dishonesty and almost hide valuables.’

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