No matter your financial situation going through a relationship breakdown and divorce will be one of the most difficult times of your life. For those with substantial finances and investable assets can be even more complex.
Finding a specialist high-net-worth divorce lawyer who you trust to help untangle these issues can be key. The right lawyer will support you to navigate the legal processes and protect your financial interests.
For high-net-worth (HNW) individuals with more than £1 million in investable assets going through divorce, there are typically several important factors to consider, explains director and high-net-worth divorce lawyer Rachel Buckley.
When it comes to high value divorces, assets are often held in complex structures that present unique challenges.
These can include issues related to property division, business assets, investment portfolios, assets here and aboard, different currency’s including cryptocurrency, pensions, complex trust structures both onshore and offshore and more. When it comes to asset division, it can be particularly challenging to determine what the assets are and what their value is and how to divide assets fairly between two people who may have very different financial situations and needs.
Transparency and non-disclosure
During financial proceedings in divorce cases, both parties will be required to make a full disclosure of their assets. This enables the Court to consider all relevant assets and therefore distribute them fairly.
When the financial stakes are high it can be tempting for one spouse to not reveal or make full disclosure about their financial situation. Perhaps considering moving money out of joint accounts and into sole accounts which the other spouse has no access to, reducing company income or even considering moving wealth offshore into a series of inter-linked corporate and trust structures.
If you believe your former spouse is not disclosing all of their assets during proceedings, a careful sensible approach is needed to ensure that the best outcome is achieved.
Reputation and trust
Often HNW are also high-profile people and a divorce is not only a time of emotional and financial strain but poses a threat to their privacy and reputation. As legal professionals all lawyers have to abide by confidentiality but finding someone you feel confident confiding and trust in is also important. In some circumstances particularly if there has been domestic abuse you will be sharing intimate things about your life.
It could be challenging to keep everything about your divorce private. In the Family Courts moves are being made to report cases transparently and some judges are more sympathetic to applications for reporting restrictions than others. If you and your spouse can agree and are amicable you could try alternative dispute resolution options such as arbitration to ensure privacy.
And of course be aware of your online presence and what you are sharing too.
Another important thing to consider and which is often overlooked is the emotional impact that a high net worth divorce can have on both parties involved. When there are substantial assets at stake, it can be difficult for each person to let go of what they feel is rightfully theirs. The court will always try to meet the parties’ needs in a way that enables them to transition to independence but when emotions are highly charged this can lead to arguing over points and increasing legal costs. This is why it is important to work with a lawyer who can help you approach negotiations from an objective standpoint, rather than letting emotions get in the way.
HNW divorces are incredibly complex and challenging but with the right high-net-worth divorce lawyer on your side, you can navigate the process with confidence and protect your financial interests.
Need some advice? Get in touch today