Getting the best outcomes in Liverpool family law cases
Many people in Liverpool and throughout Merseyside receive assistance from the skilled and committed family lawyers at Stowe Family Law to deal with divorce, separation, financial arrangements, and child custody.
The case study examples below show the Liverpool team's commitment to giving their clients the best legal advice and representation. Partner Matthew Taylor heads the team.
Whether you are going through a difficult divorce, trying to divide a pension, making a decision on the future of the family home, or finding it difficult to co-parent, our skilled family lawyers will provide you with the assurance and peace of mind you need.
Pension v family home - how do you decide?
Despite the fact that pensions are often the second most valuable asset in a marriage, behind the family home, there has been a dramatic drop in pension sharing orders, down 35% since 2017, highlighting the growing number of people overlooking pension assets in divorces.
All too often, the team in Liverpool hear clients say they want to keep the family home, rather than look at a division of pensions, but this can be a mistake. Overlooking or forsaking pensions can mean people are missing out on potential long-term income and future financial security.
A recent Liverpool client found themselves in this position. Following a 30-year marriage, the couple had two now adult children, and a family home valued at £500K with no mortgage.
During the relationship, the ex-spouse had worked in the public sector and had a substantial final salary pension, along with some personal pension savings. Meanwhile, our client had large stretches of time outside of working to raise the children, so had a modest private and state pension.
Adamant they wanted to keep the family home, even at the sake of a pension share, the team supported the client to get a clear understanding of all the matrimonial assets, including an actuary report, to get an accurate valuation of the pensions.
They also helped the client get a clear picture of incomings and outgoings, and the costs to run and maintain the family home.
With these new figures, the client realised they could not afford to run the family home. Instead, a settlement proposal was drafted that sought to sell the family home and split the equity, along with recommendations for fair division of pensions to ensure a fair settlement for both parties that met their needs.
After lengthy negotiations, a settlement was reached and legalised with a consent order for the finances and pension sharing order to cover the division of pensions.
Working out the division of business to secure a fair settlement
Divorcing couples sometimes fight over financial issues related to the division of a business or stake in one.
In a recent instance, Stowe Family Law in Liverpool represented the wife in a complicated financial settlement involving a family business.
The couple had been married for 18 years, with the business established 4 years into the marriage. Run by the husband, the wife knew little about the business, its value or income potential, as she had raised the couple's children and ran the family home.
To properly advise the client, it was important that the team understood the business, what it is worth, what income it provides, and can potentially provide in the future.
Due to the complexity of the business structure and potentially inaccurate disclosure from the other party, as previous valuations seem low, the team called upon the Stowe in-house forensic accountancy team.
Working together, a more accurate business valuation, as well as a greater grasp of the structure and income possibilities, was established.
The Liverpool team was then able to advance negotiations to secure a more equitable financial settlement for the wife, because of the degree of detail they had about the business.
When a couple divorces, spousal support can be agreed so that the higher earner (wife or husband) makes a regular payment to the spouse with a lower income. It is more commonly known as spousal maintenance.
The question of how much spousal support should be paid had become a sticking point in the discussions in a recent case involving a couple from Liverpool, where the team acted for the husband.
The couple had two children aged 13 and 3, and had been married for 17 years before the relationship broke down.
The wife earned more than £200,000 annually as the FD of a pharmaceutical company. The husband had previously worked for this same company in sales, but had left his job 3 years ago after the second child was born to look after the children.
It had been agreed the husband would remain in the former marital home and continue to be a stay at home parent until the youngest child started secondary school. The wife would move into rented accommodation close by.
However, the husband's day-to-day existence was financially challenging without a job.
The team collaborated with the client to create a budget for sustainable living expenditures, as well as a breakdown of all his income and outgoings. This revealed there was not enough money left over to pay the husband's living needs, even after taking child maintenance into account.
Unexpectedly, the wife was pushing back on this, even though it was revealed she had surplus income after all her reasonable needs were met.
Finally, after lengthy negotiations with the other legal team, the wife agreed to cover the shortfall in an interim period until the youngest child started secondary school and the husband could look for paid employment, which he was keen to do. At this point, the spousal support would be reviewed.
Contact the Liverpool team at Stowe Family Law
With more than 60 offices around the country, Stowe Family Law is the biggest family law firm in the UK.
The Liverpool office in Merseyside, one of the firm's many locations, offers legal advice to people dealing with issues like divorce, civil partnership dissolution, cohabitation issues, and nuptial agreements.
Our Liverpool family solicitors office can be found at Stowe Family Law LLP, 4th Floor, Merchants Court, 2-12 Lord St, Liverpool, L2 1TS. Our Liverpool office is conveniently located on Lord Street in Liverpool City Centre, next to Liverpool ONE and a short walk from James Street Merseyrail station. Our team of family lawyers in Liverpool can be contacted on 0151 3151223.
Matthew is a Senior Associate and was noted in the Legal 500 for being ‘excellent’ and thinking ‘through cases very carefully to make very sound tactical decisions.’ His specialism is resolving financial issues following a divorce or separation and he frequently advises clients on cohabitation issues. He is based at our Liverpool office.