Divorce for high net worth individuals is no less demanding emotionally than any other divorce but they can be far more complex financially. Every divorce has to go through a formally agreed and legally binding process but the inescapable fact is that high net worth cases bring with them a number of issues that other cases do not. There may be the need to consider and protect substantial finances, properties, assets and international interests along with children, custody and maintenance matters. Particular expertise, for example, may be required to assess whether assets are being concealed by one party or if there has been limited disclosure.
There is no specific definition of high net worth but such cases may be regarded as those where the parties’ available assets exceed their financial needs. The particular issues involved when dealing with a high net worth divorce are something that we at Miller Samuel Hill Brown have a strong track record in dealing with. The fact that clients are classed as high net worth does not stop us striving to minimise the financial implications of any divorce case for our client.
A high net worth divorce requires an overview of all the assets of the relationship and the impact of the divorce on the family and lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. If there are children, consideration needs to be given to, for example, child maintenance and ensuring the children’s emotional and educational needs are catered for. This may include private education, holidays and the continuing pursuit of hobbies and interests.
There will be properties both at home and possibly abroad. Pensions Trusts will require consideration of the deeds in terms of purpose and the jurisdictions in which they may be challenged, or safeguarded as the case may be.
Personal assets may include boats, cars, paintings, etc., while assessing the value of business assets may involve consideration of the overall value and not just the balance sheet figures.
It is also important to ensure potential tax consequences of any actions are not overlooked.
Timing can be important if there is the potential for asset disposal by one party requiring the freezing of assets nationally and possibly internationally.
High net worth divorces can involve a prenuptial agreement. A “pre-nup” usually defines the ownership and division of pre- and post-marital assets. If you are contemplating a high net worth divorce and have such an agreement, we can assess how it might be challenged or enforced depending on our instructions.
Discretion can be important. It may be that you and your partner can, with our assistance, secure an agreement out of court. This might be achieved by mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce proceedings. However, if going to court proves necessary, you need the assurance of having the best divorce lawyers on your side.
Any high net worth individual involved in or thinking of starting a divorce case should contact us at the earliest opportunity. As with all clients, we offer our absolute discretion in handling your divorce.
At Miller Samuel Hill Brown we provide clear, expert advice on all aspects of family law. 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. Let us help you. Please contact our divorce and dissolution specialist Charles Brown on 0141 221 1919 or fill in our online contact form.