High Net Worth Divorce
There is no standard definition of what a high net worth divorce is. The majority of cases dealt with in the UK Courts start and end with an assessment of the reasonable needs of the parties and are resolved with a pragmatic apportionment of those assets which are available between them to meet those assessed needs. In a high net worth case the assets available will be more than enough to meet the reasonable needs of the parties. What a party’s reasonable needs are will vary considerably from case to case but the Courts will have regard to the assets, the length of the marriage, the parties’ ages and health status, and the standard of living they have enjoyed within the marriage.
In high net worth divorce cases the parties’ assets are often held in more complex financial arrangements which require a more considered approach.
Frequent issues that need to be looked at in high net worth divorce cases:
- Business assets and shareholdings – we can help you to obtain a valuation for a business or shareholding. We can investigate the available business resources both in terms of capital and income and can help advise where there may be third parties or other shareholders involved as well as advising how to deal with the business within the financial settlement.
- Trusts – we can assist in making sure that we have proper disclosure of all the relevant information regarding the trust and any available capital and income which can be drawn from it to help make financial provision for the parties within a financial settlement.
- Inheritance – it is becoming more common for one party to receive significant inherited assets which may not be matched by a capital contribution from the other party. We can advise how the Court would approach this within a settlement.
- Special contribution – where one party in the marriage has generated a very significant sum of capital through their effort or acumen, that party may claim that they have made a special or stellar contribution to the wealth of the family and such a claim has to be carefully considered by the Court.
- Compensation claims – one party may make a claim for financial provision as a result of having given up their own career prospects within the marriage where otherwise that career might have allowed that party to generate their own significantly more substantial income.
- Marital and non-marital assets – it may need to be determined whether an asset or part of an asset should be included within the matrimonial assets for division between the parties or excluded as a result of it having accrued outside the marriage.
- International assets – with larger capital cases it is more likely that there are assets held in different jurisdictions which can create complex issues.
- Tax – the more capital assets the parties and the more complex arrangements there are, the greater necessity there will be for significant consideration to be taken of the tax implications in any particular proposal for settlement.
- Provision for children – with higher earners, it is far more likely that we will need to include provision for private school fees or top-up maintenance to allow the children to continue to enjoy the standard of living they have received during the marriage.
We have close connections with all sorts of experts who may assist us in providing you with the necessary advice and information in achieving the best financial settlement that we can overall for you. This would include accountants, financial advisers, surveyors, pensions advisers and business valuers.
With high net worth cases it is also far more important that the parties give consideration to entering into either a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement to protect any substantial assets that they may have at the commencement of their relationship.
Talk to Tollers
For further advice regarding pre-and post-nuptial agreements and financial settlement upon divorce, please get in touch with our specialist team of high net worth divorce solicitors today on 01604 258558 or make an online enquiry here.