High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers
At Josiah-Lake Gardiner, our lawyers have considerable experience in acting for high-net-worth individuals to safeguard their wealth during the divorce process. This usually includes businesses, properties, pensions and trusts, in multiple jurisdictions. With our resources and experience, we will provide unrivalled legal representation to gain the best outcome for you.
To book an initial consultation with our high net worth divorce solicitors, simply call 020 3709 8975 or complete our online enquiry form.
What Qualifies as High Net Worth Divorce?
For cases to be classified as being ‘high net worth’, it’s usual for either spouse to be high earners or have substantial capital assets. In many cases, one or both of the parties will have come into the marriage or civil partnership has amassed substantial wealth through work, gifts or inheritance. There are equally as many cases where the family wealth has largely been built up during the marriage.
For wealthy couples getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership, the nature and extent of their wealth can add a layer of complexity. Couples that have substantial holdings through investments, properties or business ventures, and those with high-paying occupations can easily have millions at stake in their divorce/dissolution. As such, it is critical that each party receives legal advice from experienced high net worth divorce lawyers in order to protect their financial interests.
Not only will the client potentially need advice on issues, such as spousal and child maintenance, school fees and lifestyle choices, they will also need to understand and advance options for settlement in respect of properties, pensions, trusts, business assets, personal assets, offshore assets and inherited wealth.
There may also need to be conversations about possible freezing injunctions (including those with a worldwide effect) where there is a concern that assets may be placed out of the court’s reach in order to defeat a part’s legitimate claims for sharing/financial provision.
Our Expertise in Handling High Net Worth Cases
All of the lawyers at Josiah-Lake Gardiner have experience not only of dealing with divorce and dissolution cases where the assets are more modest, but also those involving very substantial assets, including inherited wealth, business assets, offshore assets, trusts, property and pensions.
Our experience of dealing with high net worth cases, including reported cases, makes us well placed to advise and assist you. Irrespective of whether you wish to safeguard your assets or gain your fair share, contact our expert high net worth divorce solicitors today for a free initial consultation. Simply call 020 3709 8975 or complete our online enquiry form.
Can You Help To Preserve My Wealth?
After proceedings for divorce or dissolution have commenced, the opportunities for legally ‘protecting’ wealth are more limited in that full and complete transparency is required – all assets must be fully disclosed.
An out of court settlement can be reached with your partner on advantageous terms which may go some way to protecting perhaps pre-acquired wealth. Equally, a trial judge may well make a final order, the result of which has been to ‘ring fence’ pre-acquired wealth for one party where the remaining family assets are sufficient to meet the needs of the other party and any children for whom they have primary care.
A prenuptial agreement is a formal written agreement between two partners entered into prior to their marriage. It typically sets out what has been agreed between a couple should happen with regard to the ownership of financial assets and property in the event of the breakdown of their marriage. If marrying or entering into a civil partnership for a second time, you may have acquired wealth which you would want to protect for children from an earlier marriage, it could well make sense to enter into a prenuptial agreement to preserve what is being brought into the marriage.
As yet, prenups are not legally binding in the UK. Since the case of Radmacher v Granatino  UKSC 42, prenups are now afforded heavier evidential weight by the courts although they remain just still one of a number of factors that the Court will take into account when determining a financial split on divorce or dissolution.
What has shifted though is that the burden now rests with the party wishing to get out of the prenup to show to the Court why it would be unfair to hold them to its terms. As a result, it is better than not to have a prenup in place as evidence of a shared intention as to how the assets should be split on divorce and the terms of any ongoing financial support from one parter to the other. Further, during the subsistence of the marriage, a post-nuptial agreement could be entered into to provide the same certainty as with a prenup and its terms would be considered in the same way.
How Can I Protect My Business?
Businesses are very much classed as an asset of the marriage and how the business will be treated on divorce depends on a variety of factors. If you are separating and you or your partner owns a business, then it is important to seek advice from solicitors who specialise in this area. It is important for your solicitor to fully understand the nature of your business.
Each business is different and to understand the impact a divorce may have, it is essential that there is a good understanding of how the business works. Is it the vehicle from which the family’s income is derived? If so, does it make sense for the business to be sold? Should it be treated as a capital asset or as an income producing vehicle? If one party is to keep the business, how should the other be ‘compensated’?
The starting point with any financial negotiations is an exchange of full and complete financial disclosure. This may well mean that a formal valuation of the business must be carried out. Your business accounts will not normally be sufficient. It is common for a valuation to be conducted by a single joint expert to help keep costs to a minimum.
The business valuation is crucial not only in establishing the overall wealth of the business but also to address issues such as tax liabilities if your business were to be sold. Once the value is established, the next consideration is what your partner’s interest is and how it should be realised.
If the business has assets, these could potentially be sold to pay a lump sum to your partner to enable you to retain the business, as long as those assets are not material to the functioning of the business. If the business is income rich and capital poor and produces an income that supports the family, an order could be made for maintenance payments to be paid to your partner or for there to be a lump sum payment in this regard.
I’m Looking to Gain My ‘Fair Share'
What one party considers fair would not necessarily be regarded by the other as fair or potentially what a court would order. If an agreement cannot be reached out of court, the decision making is then in the hands of the court.
The judge dealing with the matter will have the final decision on how the family assets are divided and will in most cases strive to do so in the fairest way possible. The way in which a family’s assets are divided on divorce is complex and a whole range of factors are taken into account.
Our experienced high net worth divorce solicitors regularly assist clients who wish to gain their fair share. We worth diligently to form a strong case for our clients to help them gain a favourable settlement. To understand how we can help with your unique situation, call our high net worth divorce solicitors today on 020 3709 8975.
Mediation for High Net Worth Individuals
If the intention of the separating couple is to resolve matters quickly and amicably, they may initially attempt to agree matters directly, but the more complex their finances the less likely they would be able to resolve matters themselves.
Mediation can assist some couples to resolve financial issues with the assistance of a neutral third party independent mediator. However, it would still be preferable for the parties to have their own solicitors in the background to assist them.
If the parties are dealing with finances, the solicitor will be able to assist a party with the disclosure and review of documents. They can offer advice on the law and the approach likely to be taken by the court if the matter were to be determined by a judge, rather than by agreement. Settlement options can be explored with the family solicitor and proposals formulated to then advance in mediation. Sometimes, the solicitors for each party can be invited to attend a mediation session with their clients.
If mediation is not successful or is not something that the parties are willing to consider, there are further options for the partners to consider with regard to resolving matters out of court including the collaborative law process and direct face-to-face negotiating between the partners and their respective family lawyers at round table meetings.
Contact Our High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers
Our Legal 500 recognised solicitors at Josiah-Lake Gardiner have considerable experience in acting for high net worth individuals. If you require expert legal advice and representation from our high net worth divorce lawyers, please do get in touch with us today. We are happy to discuss your unique situation and advise upon how we can assist you moving forwards.
To make an appointment with our high net worth divorce lawyers in London, simply call us on 020 3709 8975 or complete our online enquiry form.