Marriage breakdown brings both emotional and financial challenges to the whole family. Decisions need to be made concerning financial arrangements and what is to be done with regards to any children in respect of maintenance, where they will live, and arrangements for parental contact. While all divorces must go through the same formal process, for a footballer this can have a number of added complexities. At Miller Samuel Hill Brown, we understand that each case is unique and you can be assured of our dedication to your particular circumstances.
In Scotland, the process of financial provision is designed to ensure a “fair sharing” of the assets built up during the marriage (known as the “matrimonial property”). The concept of a “stellar contribution”, where one party is deemed responsible for the bulk of the assets, is not recognised in Scotland.
As well as agreement on maintenance for children, spousal maintenance will have to be considered. After separation, (but before an overall settlement or divorce), if one party is financially dependent on the other this would be expected to continue to a reasonable degree. On divorce, however, Scots law prefers a “clean break” and spousal maintenance will normally discontinue. In certain circumstances, spousal maintenance may continue if so determined but for usually no more than three years.
For professional footballers and other sporting celebrities, the process can be particularly challenging. There is a need to take into consideration matters that others do not. Earnings, for example, can be very high, with remuneration being a complicated mix of basic income, potentially substantial but variable bonuses, sponsorship money and possible transfer and signing-on fees. On the other hand, careers are relatively short and can be shorter still if injury occurs.
As anything acquired during the marriage could potentially be shared between both parties, it is important for footballers to know how much money and property they have and when they acquired them. It may be the case that a pre-nuptial agreement exists i.e. a formal agreement serving to protect important assets held prior to marriage. Scots law recognises these “pre-nups” in appropriate circumstances. We can assist in advising on the terms as to how enforceable it may be or if it can be challenged depending on your position.
Discretion is crucial in divorces involving footballers and other sports stars living in the public spotlight. Most will not wish to see their private lives and details of their divorce in the hands of the media. You can be assured of our absolute discretion and assistance in these aspects.
Whether acting for a footballer or spouse, at Miller Samuel Hill Brown we provide clear, compassionate and expert advice. Based in Glasgow City Centre, our divorce lawyers also help clients in Glasgow’s West End, South Side, Paisley and across Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire and Central Scotland. Please contact our divorce and dissolution specialists on 0141 221 1919 or fill in our online contact form.