It had been widely believed that their relationship was a happy one, but it’s since been claimed that 36-year-old Danielle wanted to start a family with Lineker, but the football player-turned-pundit, who’s 55 and has four sons with his first wife, didn’t want more children.
Nevertheless, the couple have gone out of their way to demonstrate that the split is amicable. They went to the theatre together only days before a court granted them a decree nisi, and both took to Twitter to say what wonderful years they had shared and how they were still the ‘best of friends’.
So chummy have they remained that they opted for a DIY divorce – paying out just a few hundred pounds to carry out the process online.
Writing about the end of his friends’ marriage, TV presenter Piers Morgan wrote last weekend: ‘Gary later confided that although it had been a tough time, they were still great friends, and were planning to say absolutely nothing until their divorce came through. “We’re doing it through a website for £400,” he said. “There’s no reason to bring in expensive lawyers because we still care about each other.’
In fact, there is every reason to bring in a dedicated divorce lawyer. If the Linekers want to stay friends, then it’s important the divorce is brought to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Before the decree absolute can be issued, a financial settlement has to be sorted out and that is the difficult part. In our experience, many break-ups remain cordial up until this point, after which – if not handled expertly – things can get messy.
Specialist divorce lawyers with experience of dealing with high-end clients are more likely to achieve the best outcome than a ‘one size fits all’ anonymous website. Yes, they cost more, but – as the saying goes – you get what you pay for.
A final word on the Linekers’ divorce: For those of you who are about to marry – for the first, second or third time – it is important to remember that key issues such as whether or not to have children are better sorted out before rather than after the wedding.
Media commentators have remarked that it’s hardly surprising Gary Lineker doesn’t want more children at 55, but when he was in his mid-40s when he and Danielle got together – not an unreasonable age to start a second family. Danielle, who has a teenage daughter from a previous relationship, has long wanted more children; now, at 36, her biological clock is ticking. If she and Gary had been in agreement about children right at the beginning, perhaps a lot of heartache could have been avoided.