Match of The Day host calls for divorce lawyers to be replaced by mathematical formula

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By Will Buckley on

Not so much taken out of the equation as taken out by the equation


Relieved to have ‘solo-helmed’ his second divorce with minimum fuss and expense (£400 in court fees) Gary Lineker opened his heart to the Radio Times to advise that others should follow his path and suggest:

I think there should be a mathematical equation that goes straight to the courts and they sort it out.

There has been a long and storied history of Match of the Day hosts setting the legal pace with Jimmy Hill, who hosted over 600 editions of MOTD, being the man who abolished the maximum wage, introduced all-seater stadia and three points for a win, and invented the football pundit panel. Given such a precedent, when football’s top host (the sport’s equivalent of president of the Supreme Court) speaks, then it pays to listen.

And Gary Lineker — 4,745,000+ Twitter followers (c.f the entire Supreme Court has fewer than 200,000) — could well have a point and certainly has enough disciples to campaign for it to become law should they be so minded. The question, therefore, is not whether lawyers should be replaced by equations but which equation is, to lapse into government-speak, ‘best fit for purpose’.

Clearly, E = MC squared is a possibility (after all if it can solve the theory of relativity surely it can work out how to resolve the sharing of the spoils after, say, a short to medium-term marriage with two children involving a chartered surveyor and a returning to work nail-bar technician) and at first glance it seems to work. Say, M is length of marriage in years and C equals number of children then MC2 provides a very reasonable starting point for working out E which can be used as ‘the earnings co-efficient’ in future calculations.

Clever… but not clever enough. A basic knowledge of maths reveals that a mother of five children will receive 25 times the amount of a single child parent and although such a policy might entertainingly infuriate the Daily Mail (a fifteen child mother would for instance receive 225 times more, even if on benefits) it does rather ignore economies of scale.

Perhaps, more complexity is required: Schrodinger’s Cat complexity. The mathematician came up with his paradox to assist in understanding the idiosyncrasies that flow from the following equation:


Where H = the matrimonial home and t = time and v with a line through it = ermm and that funny giant backwards 6 = … on second thoughts has anybody got a number for a family lawyer?