In most cases divorce and separation will have a significant impact on a person’s life and result in both practical and financial consequences. Before considering your options, it is imperative that you obtain expert advice to ensure the decisions you make are the right ones. Our Family Law team has expertise in all areas of family law, particularly in relation to the various financial complexities which may arise, and they can help ensure you are aware of all the relevant intricacies before making any informed decision. As a full service law firm, we are uniquely placed and our family solicitors will liaise with other departments including our Tax, Trust and Succession team to ensure you are fully briefed on a whole host of issues which may arise.
Wherever possible our lawyers seek to resolve issues by discussion and negotiation, often working with other specialists such as financial advisers and pension experts. We pride ourselves on negotiating favourable settlements on behalf of our clients to avoid recourse to the courts. Once such agreement has been reached, the agreed terms are formally drafted into a minute of agreement.
In the minority of cases where an amicable resolution cannot be reached, we have extensive experience of litigating in the Court of Session and the Sheriff Courts to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. Only counsel of the highest calibre will be instructed to represent our clients in Court of Session proceedings in order to ensure our clients always receive the best legal advice and representation.
There are various complex laws in place which regulate financial provision between parties upon divorce. This can be very confusing for people when they are faced with trying to sort out the various matrimonial assets and working out their personal entitlement. Financial provision encompasses many distinct areas and some of the most frequently occurring ones are noted below.
In legal terms, the family home is referred to as the 'matrimonial home'. In many cases this may be a couple’s most substantial asset and, as a result, can be the subject of ongoing dispute. We can advise you on the transfer or sale of the matrimonial home, and any associated issues including any issues with lenders.
It can be a startling realisation for anyone that they may have to support themselves and any children of the relationship on their income alone. In many cases it will be imperative to reach urgent agreement with your former partner as to ongoing financial support. Our Solicitors have extensive knowledge in all aspects of child support and can pursue this through the courts where appropriate.
Disposal of assets
In some cases there may be a risk that a person will take steps to dispose of assets to prevent a claim being made on them. In such cases immediate action will be required. Our Solicitors are well versed in the applicable court procedures to ensure all assets are safeguarded and they will act with proficiency and urgency.
The division of matrimonial property can be particularly complex where there are business assets to resolve. The division of such assets can be extremely problematic particularly, for example, where the business is a farming business or where the parties are in a partnership with one another.
In these circumstances, we can utilise our full service range and liaise with our colleagues who are experts in agricultural law and partnership law to ensure we have all conceivable information at our disposal. For the valuation of these assets, we also have a very close working relationship with specialist surveyors and forensic accountants who will provide you with information of unquestionable accuracy.
In some cases, a person’s pension interests can be one of the most valuable matrimonial assets. Many people can become confused about what proportion of a pension they/their spouse is entitled to. We can guide you through this process and advise you on exactly what you/your spouse is entitled to, and how a suitable resolution can be reached. There are many options available to people including pension sharing orders and capital sum payments. Our Solicitors liaise with consulting actuaries and other specialists to ensure your pension interests are appropriately safeguarded.
When considering how best to approach the resolution and potential division of matrimonial assets, our specialist Solicitors will not advise on any course of action without ensuring you are briefed regarding any associated tax implications. Our in-house Tax team are specialists in their field and will provide unrivalled information to ensure you make the right decision based on all pertinent tax implications.
Cross border and international issues
When deliberating where to raise proceedings, it is imperative that clients are advised as to how the law differs across different jurisdictions and the ways in which it will affect them. Even many solicitors remain unaware of the stark differences in how financial provision is approached in Scotland and England. Whilst the law in Scotland operates within strict guidelines, the situation remains far less clear in England and could expose client’s personal assets to a far greater extent.
Our Solicitors advise clients on cross border and international issues to ensure their action is dealt with in the jurisdiction that will benefit them the most wherever possible. We also have a Family team in Manchester that can assist where appropriate.