Finances and Divorce
It is imperative to assess not only the immediate impact of a split, but also to consider the financial needs of the spouses and children. No case is the same. This is an area in which Stowe Family Law has a particularly strong track record.
A financial settlement can be tailored to a couple's needs. It does not have to follow a set pattern. Payments of capital (known as lump sum payments), can be paid in instalments. An agreement can be reached about the division of a pension, redundancy pay, or property to be sold in the future. Financial settlements can be flexible.
Negotiating a financial settlement in divorce is a skilled and complex task. It requires full and frank disclosure on the part of both parties, to each other and to the court as part of the initial process. It is imperative to assess not only the immediate and short-term impact a split will have, but also to consider the longer term future needs of both spouses and children. All the income and assets of the parties will need to be taken into account, including less obvious assets such as companies, trusts, pensions, properties, income distribution from all sources, on and offshore assets, contents and valuables.
Sometimes there is a reluctance to give disclosure or the assets may be undervalued. Sometimes assets are not disclosed at all! This is where our forensic accountancy team comes in. It is unusual for a family law firm to have in-house forensic accountants: our specialist team, headed by Nick White, has been featured in the Financial Times and its services are prized by Stowe Family Law’s clients. This is because when clients come to see us for the first time, we can provide immediate advice about the likely scale and nature of a case. Our forensic accountants can also provide advice about the likely value of a client’s business for the purpose of a divorce.
The law in this area is fast-moving and every case is different. Stowe Family Law’s talented team of solicitors is led by Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe, who is highly skilled at uncovering attempts to disguise wealth and hide assets, ensuring everything is taken into consideration in reaching a financial settlement in divorce. Her particular speciality is conducting investigations in cases where substantial assets are in dispute.
“Marilyn Stowe’s reputation precedes her”, the Legal 500 has said of her. “She is known for attracting high-value ancillary relief work”.
At Stowe Family Law, your case will be dealt with on its individual merits. We try hard to resolve cases by negotiation and avoid a full blown courtroom hearing. Our goal is a swift, tailor-made and cost-effective solution for you (often to cover you for the rest of your life).
If there are sufficient assets to sever all ties, a “clean break” solution may be the outcome. If not, then continuing maintenance may be a possibility, whether for life or until re-marriage or such term as may be agreed or ordered by the court.
Our solicitors have extensive experience in cases that involve money or assets held in trust. If you have assets in a trust, remember that a trust is a separate entity governed by trustees (even if you are one of them) and the trust will probably need separate legal representation. If your divorce case involves a trust, we will adopt a suitable approach to prevent the case from becoming irreparably compromised.
Child maintenance is dealt with separately, but we prefer to include a proper level of maintenance in our negotiations rather than leave this area to the Child Support Agency.