Following on from Tom's blog about the divorce settlement between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard on 17 August, there has already been an issue over the settlement terms.

The agreement included a $7m payment to Ms Heard, who pledged to donate the money to her two preferred charities.

Apparently Mr Depp has taken her at her word and made the first two instalment payments to the charities in her name.  

Whilst we can guess his motivation for this step, I'd be surprised if such an arrangement was part of their settlement, which is more likely to have provided for the payments to go directly to Ms Heard so that she can make whatever financial arrangements she wishes.  

If he had been ordered to make a payment to Ms Heard under English law, then Ms Heard could still have demanded payment in full to her.  Although her claims for him to double the payment sound a bit extreme though.

It is important to get the right terms in any settlement, not just as to the overall principles (such as a $7m lump sum payment) but also how to achieve them.  We work with our clients to put in place clear, practical arrangements so that costly errors like this are avoided.  This includes arrangements for child maintenance payments (and contesting Child Maintenance Service plans) as well as full settlement of finances on separation.

If you have questions about the terms of an agreement that affects you or your friends and family, please do contact me on 01865 781115 or by email