Areas which may be of interest, include:
Pre Divorce Planning
In divorce many people leave their assets totally exposed to attack. With some measured consideration structuring your assets carefully can make attack more difficult. It may be worth considering Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Post-Nuptial Agreements.
Protecting your assets from attack
You may have taken years to build up your asset base and the value it has. You may have inherited assets or about to inherit a large sum of money. You may have a family business that could be destroyed by divorce. In these circumstances you might need to protect your assets. You may wish to consider if the use of Trusts is appropriate.
Assets within or outside reach of the Courts
Assets outside the jurisdiction of the Court can be more difficult to attack. Consideration needs to be made as to what is credible to make attack difficult.
What to look out for
Whatever you do to protect your assets careful consideration needs to be given so that the Courts do not set aside the actions you have taken.
We advise clients how to trace their spouse’s assets. Asset tracing information can be invaluable in Court.
Like all service offerings, some lawyers are good and some are not. Some will devote the correct time to your case, others will not. Choosing the right team to maximise your case is crucial.
Divorce is not just a process; it is a means to getting a fair outcome when a couple divorce. There are certain strategic decisions that need to be considered to achieve the best outcome.
Keeping accurate records is very important. Without proper records a Judge can fail to be convinced. We assist in compiling a robust set of records to support your case.
In divorce there is often great suspicion as to what information the other spouse is giving in relation to their assets. We advise clients how to trace their spouse’s assets. Asset tracing information can be invaluable in Court.
Conduct and Correspondence (what not to say)
There can often be anger and mistrust in the divorce process with the temptation to speak your mind to the other side in writing. Such actions could severely damage your case and your standing in Court, even though your views may be just and correct. Your conduct and what you say is so important in divorce.
How Judges think
Often Judges want to see that the parties have tried to reach a solution. Adopting an intransigent position can do you harm. Judges may rule against you on costs whereby you will have to pay the others sides legal fees.
This is a key financial document and is extremely important to get it right. Careful consideration in setting out your assets and liabilities. Careful consideration in setting out your ‘needs’. Too high a claim and it will be discredited. Too low a claim and you loose out. Filling out your Form ‘E’ covers all your expenses in maintaining your standard of living, your capital needs and liabilities. We assist clients in presenting a credible set of finances to convince the Court what your ‘needs’ are. We also challenge your spouses ‘needs’ claims.
It is important to be able to show that you have tried to negotiate. Judges do not like it when parties do not cooperate and try to negotiate. We advise parties how and when to negotiate, what to say and when to say it and how to get your spouse to concede points.
A ‘Clean Break’ has it advantages and disadvantages. Most divorces result is one spouse paying the other a spousal maintenance until death. This can be a huge burden and the receiving party can apply for ‘top up’ revisions during the remainder of their life. Likewise, if one party wins the lottery or receives an inheritance, then, these windfalls can be divided between the parties long after divorce. However, if there is a clean break there are no further payments to be made to the other side. We assist clients in carefully considering whether or not to pursue a clean break.
Timing and method of payments
There could often be a maintenance payment running until a financial settlement is reached. We advise clients on the implications of staged payments of capital and maintenance and what is the optimum structure.
Source of funds
Careful consideration needs to be given as to how to fund any financial settlement. We assist clients in advising how to fund any settlement whether it be by selling assets, transferring assets or other sources.
The Court Order
Wording of the Court Order
Often a Judge will leave it for the parties to agree the wording of an Order if the case has been settled by consent between the parties. It is important to agree the wording of the Order that suits you best as the Order will be referred to if there are any disputes in the future. If the correct wording is not used a Variation Order will need to be made to change the original Order and the whole legal process will start again. We assist in careful wording of the Order to maximise your case. If the case is contested the Judge will write the terms of the Order.
Enforcement of the Court Order
Enforcement of an Order can be daunting. There will rarely be grounds to reargue a case. The Courts will enforce the ruling. Hence, it is important to get the wording of the original order correct or apply for a ‘Variation Order’ in good time.
How to change the Order
If the Court Order later proves to be unfair or is difficult to perform to under new circumstances then you can apply to the Courts for a variation. The variation process starts the legal process all over again with the disclosures, Form E and Court hearings.
Case law influences
We assist in selecting cases that support your arguments. It can be very persuasive to refer to the relevant legal case which supports and argument you are making.
Things to Consider
- Inheritance issues
- Trusts issues
- Pensions issues
- Corporate issues
- Family businesses
- Pre-Nuptial Agreements
- Post-Nuptial Agreements
- Separation Agreements
- Divorce litigation funding
- Life and finances after Divorce