High Net Worth Divorce Solicitors
The breakdown of a relationship can be emotionally challenging and incredibly stressful for all involved. The financial implications of a divorce can be significant, and the splitting of assets often becomes one of the most hard-fought aspects of divorce proceedings. When one or both partners has substantial wealth, additional issues can arise, and specialist advice from lawyers with experience in high net worth divorce cases is vital. Our high net worth divorce solicitors have significant experience in supporting high net worth divorce clients and possess the expertise required to secure the best possible result for you. We will guide you through the process with sensitivity, understanding and discretion, fighting your corner every step of the way.
What Is A High Net Worth Divorce?
There is no legal definition of a ‘high net worth divorce’. Generally speaking, any divorce involving a couple whose assets, or those of one of the partners, exceeds their financial needs and expenses might be classed as a ‘high net worth divorce’.
High net worth divorce cases often give rise to complicated legal and commercial issues that do not feature in standard divorce proceedings. The financial arrangements of one or both parties can be complex, requiring a thorough understanding of on and offshore trusts, convoluted company structures and complicated pension schemes. There may be a concern that one party has hidden wealth in the UK or abroad, or it might be necessary to take urgent action to freeze certain assets to avoid their dissipation before the conclusion of the divorce proceedings.
These, and the many other issues which can arise in high net worth divorce proceedings, can have a considerable effect on matters such as spousal and child maintenance, and it is, therefore, vital to seek assistance from specialist high net worth divorce lawyers to ensure your position is adequately protected. Our high net worth divorce solicitors are experienced in all aspects of high net worth divorce and will handle the issues with ease, working tirelessly to achieve your objectives.
Examples of the types of issues our high net worth divorce solicitors regularly advise on include:
High net worth individuals often place a significant amount of their wealth in trust for estate and tax planning purposes. This can considerably complicate the division of assets in the event of a divorce, with much depending on the type of trust, its nature and whether it was established before or during the marriage. Our high net worth divorce lawyers are experts in trusts law and will ensure the trust assets are accessed or defended to the fullest extent possible, depending on your requirements.
Whilst not unique to high net worth divorce cases, issues relating to jurisdiction often arise where one or both partners regularly reside or work in numerous different countries or have assets located abroad. Different countries have different divorce laws, some of which may be more favourable to your circumstances than others. Where a couple has a choice of jurisdiction, it is vital to act quickly to instigate divorce proceedings in the country whose laws are likely to result in the optimum outcome for you. Our high net worth divorce lawyers are adept at acting swiftly and decisively to protect your interests by ensuring proceedings commence in the most appropriate country.
Many high net worth individuals own considerable business assets. The business might be operated as a sole trader or partnership, or the interest might be held by way of shareholding in a private or public company. Whilst business assets are usually dealt with as an asset to be divided in the event of divorce, their exact treatment will depend on the circumstances of the case and when the business was formed, or interest acquired. In some cases, the ownership structure of a business can be incredibly complex and ascertaining the value of an individual’s share in it requires a careful valuation of the business and consideration of the interests of other owners and interested parties. Our high net worth divorce solicitors have helped a great number of high net worth divorce clients to both protect and access business assets, with excellent results.
Since pension pots can be one of the most valuable assets owned by high net worth individuals, they must be given due care and attention in any divorce proceedings. The proper valuation of a pension and an understanding of how it should be dealt with in the divorce is crucial.
Briefly, the most common ways of dealing with pensions in high net with divorce cases are:
- Pension offsetting – where one part’s entitlement to a share of the other’s pension is offset by them receiving a greater share of other assets.
- Pension sharing – where part or all of one partner’s pension pot is transferred to the other.
- Pension attaching – where some or all payments are redirected to the other partner when the pension takes effect.
The most advantageous and appropriate method of dealing with any pension will depend entirely on your individual situation and the circumstances of the case. Our high net worth divorce lawyers will comprehensively explain your options, advise on which would benefit you the most and ensure you make an informed decision.
Full and frank disclosure of each partner’s assets is not only key to a fair divorce settlement, but it is also a legal requirement. If you suspect your ex-spouse is hiding assets, our high net worth divorce lawyers can help. We can ask the Court to force further disclosure, obtain disclosure of assets from third parties such as banks, trace assets both in the UK and offshore, and seek emergency freezing injunctions to prevent the dissipation of assets.
How Our High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers Can Help
Our high net worth divorce solicitors have extensive experience in all aspects of high net worth divorces. We understand that, in addition to the unique issues presented by such cases, our clients are often facing a range of other incredibly stressful matters. If the couple has children, their welfare will be paramount, and all decisions will be taken with their best interests in mind. Our high net worth divorce solicitors take the time to get to know you and understand your priorities. We will be by your side throughout and will take all possible action to secure the best possible settlement for you.