Family Trusts & Divorce Settlements

Family trusts can complicate the process of making a financial settlement during divorce as they can, potentially, be considered part of the marital assets for division. Whether you are the beneficiary of a family trust or your spouse is, getting the right legal advice can ensure your financial security if protected during divorce.

At IBB Solicitors, our specialist lawyers are experienced in dealing with family trusts and other complex assets during divorce. With particular expertise handling assets in the £2-10million range, we can guide you towards achieving a financial separation that meets your needs and those of your loved ones even under the most complicated circumstances.

Wherever possible, we will aim to avoid court proceedings and help you achieve a settlement using our strategic negotiation skills and methods such as mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. This approach can help you to achieve a fair settlement faster and at lower cost, with much less conflict and stress.

However, if court proceedings are required to ensure the right outcome for you and your family, our team have the experience and advocacy skills you need. We can represent you through every stage of applying to a court for a financial order, making sure your long-term financial interests are taken care of.

To speak to a member of our family law team about dealing with a family trust during divorce, or to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, give your local IBB Solicitors office a call in Chesham, Reading or Uxbridge, or email familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk.

Why IBB Solicitors are the right choice for advice on family trusts and divorce

IBB Solicitors is one of the top firms for divorce and family law in the South East, having achieved recognition from leading client guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. We hold the top Tier 1 ranking from the Legal 500 for Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex and Band 2 ranking from Chambers & Partners for Watford, Uxbridge and the surrounding areas.

Our Family Law team is headed by Amanda Melton, a highly experienced solicitor with particular expertise in complex divorce finances, including family trusts. Amanda has been consistently recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for her “exceptional professional knowledge” and “strong interpersonal skills”.

The team includes a number of members of Resolution, an organisation committed to reducing conflict in divorce and family law. Family Law Partner Kate Ryan is a Resolution-trained mediator with experience in mediating settlements involving family trusts.

As well as our exceptional legal knowledge, we also offer outstanding personalised client service. Your case will be dealt with by one of our experienced family lawyers from start to finish and you will always be able to contact them directly for an update or to ask a question.

How we can help you with a family trust during divorce

Understanding how family trusts are treated in divorce settlements

The assets held in a family trust can potentially be treated as part of your combined marital assets for the purposes of a financial settlement. This means, if you or your spouse were to apply to a court for a financial order, the court could well decide that some of the assets or income from the trust will need to be paid out to a spouse who is not named as the beneficiary of a trust.

There are various factors that may affect whether a court will consider a family trust as part of the assets to be divided during divorce, including:

  • Whether assets or income from the trust are needed to meet the non-beneficiary spouse’s needs
  • Whether there are children under 18 whose needs can only be met with income or assets from the trust
  • The length of the marriage
  • The parties’ contribution to the marriage
  • Whether there are any other beneficiaries of the trust who could be affected

Our divorce experts are used to dealing with complicated financial assets, including family trusts. We can advise you on whether a trust is likely to be affected by your divorce and the steps you can take to protect it.

In most cases, we are able to arrange a settlement with your spouse through negotiation, mediation and other non-confrontational approaches. This may make it easier to agree a financial separation that protects a family trust while being fair to both parties.

Varying the terms of a trust

A court can potentially vary the terms of a family trust to provide for the needs of a beneficiary’s former spouse or their children. Whether a court is willing to make such an order will heavily depend on the circumstances, so expert legal advice is essential.

If you wish to seek financial support from your former spouse’s family trust or your former spouse is seeking to vary the terms of your family trust to secure financial support, we can help you to find a positive solution. It is normally possible to negotiate an outcome that works for both parties, saving you time, money and a lot of stress.

Our family law solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with applications to vary the terms of a family trust, so can ensure you have clear legal guidance and strong representation to secure the right outcome for you and your loved ones.

Protecting a family trust against the possibility of divorce

If you are getting married or are currently married and are worried about the impact divorce could have on a family trust, it may be worth considering a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. This can allow you to agree with your fiancé or spouse that the family trust will not be included in any financial settlement you make in the event of divorce.

While prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not legally binding, if they are created in the right way they will usually be taken into consideration by a court. This means they can significantly reduce the likelihood of any conflict over a family trust if your relationship ends and act as a guide to the terms of any settlement you reach voluntarily.

Speak to our expert divorce solicitors in West London, Buckinghamshire, and the Thames Valley 

To speak to a member of our family law team about dealing with a family trust during divorce or to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, give your local IBB Solicitors office a call in Chesham, Reading or Uxbridge, or email familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk.


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