The case study examples below demonstrate the dedication of the Canterbury team, led by Managing Partner Seb Burrows, to provide their clients with the top legal counsel and representation.
Whether you are going through a painful divorce, trying to reach a financial settlement, or finding it difficult to agree on your child arrangements, we are confident that our record of success will provide the assurance and peace of mind you need.
How do you deal with the division of investment in divorce?
In the event of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, investments and savings will typically be included in the financial settlement if they have been built up during the marriage.
Investments can include bonds, investment bonds, stocks and shares, ISAs with-profits policies, such as an endowment, unit trusts, investment trusts or OEICS (open-ended investment companies). Portfolios can be complex and need expert help to value and potentially divide, transfer or sell.
A couple recently supported by the Canterbury team faced this issue. Married for 10 years, the couple had jointly invested into a number of bonds and had a healthy portfolio of stocks and shares.
When the relationship ended, they faced the complicated job of how to best manage the division of investments.
The team advised that the starting point was to ask the investment companies managing the portfolios for an up-to-date valuation, transfer and surrender value to have a clear picture of the options available.
They also referred the client to a specialist financial adviser to get a more detailed understanding of the best options on how to divide the portfolio to protect their investments and long-term financial future.
Working together, the client, financial adviser and Stowe team could then move forward negotiations to achieve a fair financial settlement with full transparency of the investments.
Who get’s the sofa? The tricky division of household items
Many couples going through a divorce must decide whether to sell the family home and divide the belongings. The Canterbury divorce team supports many clients who find this challenging, and it is a frequent source of contention.
The division of household items after a separation is not covered specifically by law. The usual rule is that any assets accumulated or acquired during the marriage are added to the marital pot and split fairly.
For a recent client of the Canterbury team, the division of household items was proving to be a sticking point in the financial settlement agreement.
After a 10-year marriage, the client was divorcing due to an extramarital affair, and was residing in the family home while her ex-spouse moved in with his new partner.
It was agreed our client would stay in the home to ensure minimal disruption for their two children, aged 5 and 12 years old.
Despite this arrangement, the couple were struggling to reach an agreement on how to divide household items, especially a large dining table and expensive sofa set.
The team recommended the client list every household item in the home, along with its estimated resale value and note any gifts and purchases made before the marriage.
This provided the team with a precise list from which to negotiate, and they helped the customer think through and determine the fairest approach to divide things.
After a proposal was completed, the Canterbury team coordinated with the opposing legal team to find a reasonable solution that satisfied the needs of both sides.
The details were then included in the consent order to ensure compliance, and the household items were divided between the ex-couple.
Entitlement to spousal support
In some cases, when a couple divorces, the higher earner (wife or husband) regularly pays an allowance to the spouse with a lower income. This is called spousal support or spousal maintenance.
The Canterbury team recently supported a client through their divorce, where the question of how much spousal support should be paid had become a sticking point in the negotiations.
The couple had been married for 12 years and had three children, 6, 3 and 2 years old. The husband was an HR Director for a manufacturing company and was on £150K plus bonuses a year. The wife had previously worked in marketing, but had stopped work after their third child due to rising childcare costs.
It was agreed the family home would be sold, and the equity split 50/50, which gave both parties a sizable deposit to buy a new home. However, for the wife, it was financially hard to afford to run a home, and caring responsibilities for their three young children made finding employment difficult.
The team worked with the client to detail a breakdown of all her income and outgoings, which revealed that there was not enough money left over to cover the wife's reasonable living needs, even after taking child maintenance into account.
However, the husband was pushing back on this, even though it was revealed he had surplus income after all his reasonable needs were met.
After protracted discussions with the opposing legal team, the husband ultimately consented to make up the difference in the interim until the youngest child entered school. Then it was agreed that our client would look for paid employment, which she was eager to do, and spousal maintenance would be reviewed.
Contact the divorce lawyers in Canterbury at Stowe Family Law today
Stowe Family Law, the largest family law practice in the UK, has more than 75 sites throughout England and Wales.
The Canterbury office is one of many in Kent, and the legal team here helps many people navigate the difficulties caused by a partnership split, including divorce, separation, child arrangements issues, pension issues, and nuptial agreements.
Contact our team of Canterbury Family Lawyers today on 01227 531536. Our team of family solicitors in Canterbury are centrally-based, located in Fruitworks Coworking on 1-2 Jewry Lane (CT1 2NP). The office is a 10-minute walk from Canterbury West train station and a 9-minute walk from Canterbury East train station. For those travelling by car, please note there is no on-street parking directly outside the office. The nearest car park is Whitefriars Car park, just a 4-minute walk away.
Seb represents clients in all aspects of family law and is well versed in handling complex and high-net-worth cases often with an international element. He is described in the Legal 500 as practical, realistic and personable’, ‘pragmatic and sensitive’ and ‘excellent, intelligent and thoughtful’.