19th September 2017

Is it a ‘red card’ for Rooney?


The former England captain yesterday admitted a charge of drink driving. He got behind the wheel whilst nearly three times the English drink driving limit after partying until the early hours of the morning. Rooney was pulled over whilst driving the car of a female he had met that night, leading some to speculate that the pair intended to have an illicit liaison.

Rooney’s pregnant wife, Coleen, was on holiday with their young three sons at the time. It is not the first time that Wayne has faced allegations of sexual impropriety. The couple have been together since they were in their teens. Wayne was alleged to have been unfaithful to Coleen both prior to and after their marriage in 2008.

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There has been much speculation in the press about whether the couple will, or should, divorce in light of this latest scandal with much attention being focused on how much of Wayne’s estimated £70million fortune Coleen will walk away with. In Scotland, the starting point is that the net matrimonial assets should divided equally unless there are special circumstances which would justify a departure from equal sharing.

Can a spouse’s bad behaviour affect a financial settlement on divorce?

The law does provide a mechanism for bad behaviour to be taken into account. Allegations of infidelity alone are unlikely to affect a financial settlement. The law does not seek to punish personal misconduct. If however such bad behaviour is coupled with conduct which directly and adversely affects the couple’s finances, then there is scope for it to be taken into account. Financially reckless or wasteful conduct such gambling is an obvious example.

What now?

Although Coleen is said to be furious with Wayne after this latest humiliation, reports suggest that divorce is not on the cards. Coleen is said to value their family unit too much to split and has a desire to uphold her catholic beliefs. Marriage counselling or family mediation at this stage could help them work through their issues in a responsible and respectful way.

Joanne Murray
Associate Solicitor




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