How Are Assets Split in a Divorce?
How assets are split in a divorce – Advice from experienced divorce lawyers in Bucks, Berks, Herts & Middlesex
If you are facing a divorce, it is important to deal with the splitting of your assets and make a binding financial agreement at the time of the divorce. Without this, it will be open to your former spouse to make a financial claim against you long into the future.
At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we specialise in family law and nothing else, meaning we have genuine expertise in dealing with divorce and related issues such as the sharing of matrimonial assets.
We can advise and represent you in dealing with the splitting of property and explain how to protect your assets in a divorce UK.
If you are going through a divorce or separation and you would like to speak to an expert family law solicitor about the divorce asset split, call us now on 01494 776 696 or Make An Online Enquiry. We have a strong track record of success in protecting our clients’ positions and ensuring they retain a fair share of matrimonial assets.
Are Assets Split 50/50 In Divorce?
Typical UK divorce settlements will often split assets fairly equally and this is the starting place of the court, however it is not always the case. If asked to decide, the courts will look at the needs of the parties. Where one party is in a weaker financial position, for example, if they have given up their career to care for the children of the marriage, then the court may award them a larger share of the available assets.
How To Split Assets In A Divorce?
In deciding how to fairly deal with a divorce asset split, the courts’ main consideration will be the ‘reasonable needs’ of both the parties but in particular, the needs of any minor children. The income and financial requirements of both parties as well as their standard of living and future expenditure will be taken into account.
While the starting point for the courts is a 50/50 split, this will be adjusted to take into account individual circumstances.
The most substantial assets in a divorce are generally the matrimonial home and pensions. The court will prioritise the needs of any children involved and may order that one party stay in the home so that the children can be looked after there.
In return, the other party may have a larger share of the other assets, such as pensions and investments. The court may require that a sale of the matrimonial home be delayed until the youngest child is 18.
Penalty For Hiding Assets In Divorce UK
In reaching a financial settlement in divorce it is a requirement that both parties fully disclose their financial position. This is generally done by filling in court Form E, which requires in-depth information about the parties, children and assets and liabilities.
The consequences of hiding assets in divorce UK can be serious. Failing to fully disclose assets is seen as perjury by the court, which is a criminal offence. Penalties include fines and, in extreme cases, prison.
If the court makes an order and it is later discovered that all assets were not disclosed, then it can reopen a settlement and make a different order. The party at fault may also be required to pay the other party’s legal costs.
Hidden Assets In Divorce Are They Discoverable?
Family law solicitors are often able to identify where assets have been concealed and take steps on behalf of their clients to uncover them.
The court can be asked to make an order for non-party disclosure of certain documents from banks and HM Revenue & Customs.
Where there is a concern that assets may be moved in an attempt to hide them, a freezing order can be requested, preventing someone from moving funds. Where an asset has been sold, the court has the power to make an avoidance of disposition order meaning that the sum of money transferred out of a party’s possession will be added back to the matrimonial assets and taken into consideration when these are split.
Similarly, if one party has spent money in a reckless manner, for example, on luxury items, then the value can again be added back to the shared pot.
Using A Trust To Protect Assets In Divorce
Creating a trust to protect assets in divorce can be classed as a sham by the courts where the purpose of the trust appears to be to put assets beyond the reach of one of the parties.
Even if a trust was created a long time before, the court can still take trust assets into account in making a financial order if it believes that these funds are necessary to adequately provide for the parties.
Trust law is complex and whether assets can be protected will also depend on the type of trust in question. It is advisable to speak to a solicitor to discuss the best way of proceeding.
Contact our family law solicitors about how to split assets in a divorce
At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we are specialist divorce lawyers with extensive expertise in dealing with splitting assets in divorce.
If you are going through a divorce or separation and you would like to speak to an expert family law solicitor about how to protect your assets in divorce, call our principal, Akash Soni, on 01494 776 696 or Make An Online Enquiry.
We inspire trust and confidence in our clients by offering high-quality advice in a clear, straightforward and compassionate manner and working tirelessly to achieve the right result.
Akash Soni – Family Solicitor & Mediator