For couples with considerable financial assets, it is imperative that their divorce is handled by a firm of solicitors who understand the complexities of high-net-worth divorce.
How Our Team of High Net Worth Divorce Solicitors Can Help
We are a team of smart, business savvy, experienced lawyers who understand the importance of protecting wealth and achieving a fair financial settlement. We also have a specialist immigration department that collaborates with our family lawyers in cases of high-net-worth international divorce, where matters concerning citizenship may need to be addressed.
As a 100% digital office, we are flexible in how clients wish to deal with us, including providing video conferencing facilities. We are also sensitive to the fact some wealthy divorce cases can attract media attention; we can meet you in a discreet location and manage any questions from the press.
As members of Resolution, we follow a strict Code of Practice in family law and aim to resolve disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods such as round-table negotiation and mediation. However, if a court order is required, we are unafraid to take on any challenge and will tenaciously advance your position, ensuring your best interests are protected.
- Can I have my divorce case heard in an English court?
- Will I be forced to provide my spouse with a ‘meal ticket for life’?
- How are the principles of section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 applied in high-net-worth divorce?
- Can I obtain a freezing order of I believe my spouse is hiding assets?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Can I have my divorce case heard in an English court?
In many cases involving international divorce on of the first considerations will be which is the best jurisdiction for the divorce to be filed. This cannot be considered in isolation, as experienced Solicitors, we understand the distinction between the question of where the divorce will take place and where the financial matters arising out of that divorce will be determined.
Because every country has its own laws regarding how financial orders are handled, it is essential that time is taken to establish which jurisdiction your divorce is best to be decided in.
English courts are known internationally to be generous to financially weaker spouses in high-net-worth divorce cases. If it is possible that you could have your divorce decided in more than one jurisdiction, you can be assured we will act quickly to have your divorce petition filed in the most advantageous country.
Will I be forced to provide my spouse with a ‘meal ticket for life’?
Many wealthy spouses are fearful that they will have to pay spousal maintenance for many years following a divorce. However, spousal maintenance is only granted in around 16% of divorce cases. There has been a shift in attitude in recent years to minimising how long spousal maintenance is paid for. In 2018, Baroness Deech introduced the Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill 2017-19, a private members’ bill which, among other aims, limits spousal maintenance payments for five years.
We understand spousal maintenance from all angles and will take the necessary steps to ensure your best interests are protected. We have relationships with forensic accountants and financial advisors who can assist us with uncovering assets you may suspect have been hidden with an aim to stop them from becoming part of the financial settlement.
How are the principles of section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 applied in high-net-worth divorce?
When a couple divorce, the starting point is that all matrimonial property and assets will be shared equally. However, the Court must then apply the factors set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to ensure a fair settlement is achieved.
The factors set out in section 25 include:
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources that each party to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
- The needs and obligations of each party.
- The contribution each party has made to the marriage (this is not simply financial; it includes contributions to the home and caring for the family).
- The length of the marriage and age of the parties.
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage.
- The conduct of the parties (it is very rare the court will consider this).
- Any physical or mental disabilities suffered by either a party or their children.
The courts have made it clear that there is no distinction between financial contributions and contributions which consist of caring for family members and the home. English courts will also interpret ‘need’ generously in big-money cases.
Can I obtain a freezing order of I believe my spouse is hiding assets?
Both parties to a divorce have a duty to make a full and frank financial disclosure at the beginning of proceedings. If you suspect your spouse or civil partner has not done this and is hiding assets abroad, or through complex corporate structures and/or trusts, we can apply for a freezing injunction to prevent the assets being handled and/or dissipated for a period of time.
We will work with a forensic accountant to uncover where certain assets are and then build a robust case to persuade the court to grant the freezing order.
In high-net-worth divorce cases experience, intelligence, and business knowledge count. To find out how we can advise and represent you, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment.