Back to News

Can you protect your assets and business when getting divorced?

Divorce is a difficult process and, when there are significant assets such as a family business, the process can be more challenging.
However, there are things you can do to clarify the position of your business in your divorce and protect your assets and business. The first is using a specialist divorce lawyer who can give the appropriate guidance and legal advice.
The decision of Salomon v Salomon & Co [1867] AC 22 case law decided nearly 150 years ago, has meant that family courts in England and Wales have allowed the assets of some family companies to be reallocated during a divorce, based on the fact that the company has a separate legal identity.
This process has been followed for many years. It meant that one person couldn’t hide his or her assets or their net worth from the spouse, or put any of these assets out of reach.
In 2013, this practice was reviewed in the case of Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd [2013] UKSC 34 in the Supreme Court, where it was ruled to be incorrect. Any wrongdoing or hiding of assets had to be proven before there would be any asset allocation from a family business. This case also highlighted the need for a person to have control of the company and the wrongdoing for the court to be able to intervene.
So what can a spouse do be sure of receiving a reasonable share following a divorce?
The Family Procedure Rules lay down the legal and procedural requirements in divorce cases.These guidelines state that shares can be matrimonial property and the Rules require that there must be a full disclosure of all assets by both parties. If this does not happen, and if the company is likely to have a substantial value, an application can be made to the court for a forensic accountant to review the books and provide a report to detail the assets and provide an independent view on the value of the company.
Whether you are the holder of the assets, or the person seeking their fair share, our specialist divorce lawyers can help. Contact us in complete confidence on 01302 320621.

Get in touch today