Ensuring your future financial security is critical when you divorce. Discussions over how marital assets will be split can quickly become contentious, particularly where high value assets, overseas property, and other complicated matters arise. Getting the right advice early on is essential to protect your interests and achieve a fair outcome for you and your loved ones.
At IBB Solicitors, our divorce lawyers are highly skilled in dealing with the division of assets during divorce. We have particular expertise with high value assets and challenging issues such as property portfolios, business ownership, international assets, and pension entitlements.
No matter how daunting dividing your assets might feel, we can give you the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome. We have an exceptional track record of achieving fair settlements for our clients without the need for court proceedings using our strategic negotiation skills and methods such as mediation, and arbitration. This can save you a significant amount of time, expense and stress.
However, our team also has very strong experience with tackling financial matters through the courts if this is required. We can offer clear legal advice, robust representation and exceptional personal support through every stage of proceedings to give you the best chance of a fair outcome.
To speak to a member of our family law team about splitting assets upon divorce, or to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, give your local IBB Solicitors office a call in Chesham, Reading or Uxbridge, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why IBB Solicitors are the right choice for advice about splitting assets
Our divorce lawyers have years of experience handling complex divorce matters, and we are particularly known for our expertise in handling assets in the £2-10million range with a very strong track record of success for our clients.
We are one of the top firms for family law in the South East. Our team is ranked Tier 1 by the Legal 500 in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex. We are also ranked Band 2 by Chambers & Partners for Watford, Uxbridge and the surrounding areas.
Many of our family lawyers are members of Resolution, an organisation which promotes friendly cooperation in family law matters with the goal of avoiding expensive and combative court proceedings wherever possible. Kate Ryan is also a Resolution-trained mediator specialising in all matters of divorce, including splitting assets.
We are a highly responsive team. From the outset of your case you will have a direct line with your personal family lawyer and we are always on hand to address questions or concerns, so you can have complete confidence in the way your case is handled at all times.
How are assets split upon divorce?
Usually finances are dealt with alongside the formal divorce process, but you can also apply for “financial remedy” after the divorce is finalised if necessary.
In English law, assets must be split fairly between the divorcing couple. Unless you have signed a prenuptial agreement (which does not result in an unfair split), all assets owned by either you or your spouse will form part of the final settlement, regardless of original ownership.
For further general information, please visit our Divorce Financial Settlements page.
It is completely understandable to feel unhappy about the idea of your spouse receiving a share of your assets, particularly if they were acquired before you got married or inherited from your family. However, separating couples have a legal duty to provide “full and frank disclosure” in respect of their assets going into when dealing with the financial issues.
This means you should be open and honest about your assets, including those owned abroad. If you are not, any financial settlement you reach could later be set aside by a judge.
How the courts divide assets
The starting point for a “fair” split is always an equal division of all assets between the parties. However, every couple and every divorce is different. Depending on your financial needs and contributions towards the marriage, whether you have dependent children, an unequal split may be more appropriate. A person’s contribution to a marriage is not always financial but could include being the primary caregiver to the children or keeping the family home.
With our assistance, it is highly likely you will be able to come to an amicable agreement out of court. However, to work out what is fair, it can be helpful to use the same criteria as the courts. Under family law, the court must take into consideration a number of factors (often referred to as Section 25 factors) when deciding what is fair.
Factors that may be considered include:
- The income, resources, and earning capacity of each spouse (both now and in the foreseeable future)
- The financial needs and responsibilities of each spouse (both now and as they are likely to be in the foreseeable future)
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple before the divorce
- The spouses’ ages and length of the marriage
- Any physical and/or mental disability of either spouse
- The contributions both spouses have made and are likely to make in future to promote the family’s welfare
- Any value or entitlements either spouse will lose because of the divorce
- Either spouse’s conduct if it would be unfair to disregard it (in practice, conduct is rarely considered)
Splitting pension entitlements
After the family home, your pensions may be your highest value assets. There are a number of options for splitting your pensions upon divorce, including:
- Pension sharing – a percentage of your pension is awarded to your former spouse. They can either join your scheme or transfer their portion into a new scheme
- Pension offsetting – you keep all your pension entitlements but your former spouse is awarded a greater share of other assets, such as the family home
- Pension attachment – your former spouse is given an entitlement to a proportion of your pension. When you start drawing down your pension income, they will receive their share
Generally, the courts are reluctant to disrupt a business too much particularly if this generates income for one or both parties. One solution is to give a greater share of the business assets to one spouse while the other receives other assets, such as pension entitlements or the family home.
For further information, please visit our Business Interests and Divorce page.
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 splitting assets upon divorce or to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, give your local IBB Solicitors office a call in Chesham, Reading or Uxbridge, or email email@example.com.