Ryan Giggs' divorce reached the first formal stage last month, known as decree nisi; and there is a court timetable in place in relation to the financial matters.

However, it's not just because of Ryan's high profile as a footballer that the case is highly publicised.

When it comes to resolving the financial matters and in doing so, considering both parties contributions, he has said it is his intention to argue that he is a "genius" and his footballing skills over his 29 year career have led to his estimated £40m fortune; And that this amounts to a "special contribution" that justifies a financial settlement in his favour.

This is only one of several factors that are considered when looking at the finances.  Cases that have gone through the Courts, where this aspect has been examined in detail, have provided us with some guidance, including the need to consider:-

•The 'special contribution' approach should only apply in "wholly exceptional" circumstances;

•Such a contribution will only lead the court to stray from equal division where it would be inequitable not to do so;

•The amount of the wealth must be "so extraordinary that it is easy for the party who generated it to claim an exceptional quality"; and

•The amount will not be enough, there must be other exceptional elements.

In short, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding how "special contribution" arguments should be treated.  The starting point is fairness and more often than not, that means equality.  

It's rare for "special contribution" to be run and run successfully and it's only in very exceptional circumstances. 

I know all family lawyers await the outcome of the Giggs' case with some interest.. Will the Court consider his contribution to the footballing world as so "genius" that it justifies a settlement in his favour?

Interestingly, Holman J said when considering an earlier case of Work v Gray, at first instance in 2015, "It may one day fall for consideration whether a very highly paid footballer, who is very good at his job but may be no more skillful than past greats, such as Stanley Matthews or Bobby Charlton, makes a special contribution or is merely the lucky beneficiary of the colossal payments now made possible by the sale of television rights.”

Well - watch this space for developments!