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Entrepreneurs are aggravating the distress of divorce by treating it as “just another business deal”, lawyers have said. Husbands and wives in an estimated 5 per cent of divorces now use boardroom negotiating techniques to try and make their former spouses accept smaller settlements, family law specialists claim.

Abigail Lowther, a lawyer with the London and Manchester firm Hall Brown Family Law, said that some individuals appeared to consider the future of their companies as a greater priority than the terms of their divorce.