Liam Payne has reportedly called in divorce lawyers as reports surface that Cheryl wants to split within weeks.
The One Direction star, 24, and former X-Factor judge, 34, are ‘going through a rough patch’ and insiders believe their relationship will soon come to and end.
Girls Aloud star Cheryl has been at home looking after their 11-month-old son Bear while Liam has been touring the US for almost a year.
Sources say Liam has been forced to consult a top lawyer to protect his huge £54million fortune. It is thought neither Liam or Cheryl want to end their relationship but are finding it tough with the 1D star’s gruelling work schedule.
It is believed Liam went to a divorce lawyer for some advice – Cheryl lives in their Surrey mansion and they have a handful of shared assets.
A source told The Sun: “Liam has sought some legal advice but he still wants to make it work.It’st sensible to be prepared for all options.
“With a young son and a number of assets between them there is more to breaking up than just parting ways. He hopes it doesn’t come to it but he’s just being careful.”
Another source added: “Hopefully they can emerge intact as a couple. “But there’s no denying it – things are pretty rough at the moment between them.
“Everyone hopes they can sort things out but, at the same time, it may be too large an obstacle.”
Her pals say it’s “business as usual” with her “main focus” on Tuesday’s opening in Newcastle of the Cheryl’s Trust Centre for young people.
On Wednesday Liam will be at the Brits, where he is up for a gong. Cheryl may turn up, in a show of unity, but organisers are currently not expecting her.
On Saturday Liam was pictured at the Groves v Eubank fight with athletics legend Denise Lewis.
The couple spent Valentine’s Day together. Liam posted a shot of a T-shirt saying: “Bear is Mummy’s little Valentine.” The caption read: “Happy Valentine’s Day @cherylofficial and everyone. Looks like I’ve got the big guy to compete with now.”
But the pair have not been seen out together since October. A pal said: “Things haven’t been right since Christmas, they’ve been bickering a lot.
“It’s make or break for them at the moment, they really need to be together if it is going to work.”
Liam has been finishing an album. Twice-wed Cheryl has signed for a TV talent show, The Greatest Dancer.