High Net Worth Divorce Solicitors, London
Divorce, regardless of how amicable the couple are, can be complicated. And high-net-worth divorce, involving property held in overseas jurisdictions, business interests, trusts, and stock portfolios add a whole other layer of intricacy to the process. Whether you are looking to protect your wealth and/or achieve a fair financial settlement, our expert family law solicitors have the legal knowledge and commercial acumen to secure the best possible outcome.
With so much at stake, financially and emotionally, it is imperative wealthy couples instruct a family lawyer who has extensive experience in high-net-worth divorce. Our family law team, led by Shabana Sultana, who has over 20 years’ experience advising and representing high-net-worth clients will take the time required to understand what a successful outcome means to you, and then put in the hard work to meet your objectives. To achieve the best possible outcome, we partner with a team of subject matter experts including barristers, psychiatrists, forensic accountants, actuaries, doctors, and private investigators. Additionally, clients can be assured of our discreet and confidential service, from the moment we are first contacted.
Contact our High Net Worth Divorce Solicitors in London
The right solicitor changes everything. Anglo Law Solicitors provides expert legal advice on High Net Worth Divorce.
Speak directly to a family solicitor now on 020 3741 9583 or complete our online contact form for your free consultation. For evening and weekend assistance, please call our family law solicitors on 07749 448362.
Anglo law solicitors serve client across the following areas:
The City of London, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Southwark, Bishopsgate, Billingsgate, Canary Wharf, Spitalfields, Aldgate, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Kent, Tunbridge Wells, West Malling, Chafford Hundred, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Epping & Loughton
How is the term ‘needs’ in high-net-worth divorce?
When working out a fair financial settlement, the courts will consider the factors listed under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Since the landmark decision of White v White  1 AC 596 , both financial and non-financial contributions carry equal weight, and needs are just one of the section 25 factors, i.e. not simply “reasonable requirements”. The court in Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane  UKHL 24 made it clear that in big money cases, needs will usually be “generously interpreted”.
Will maintenance have to be paid to my ex-spouse after we divorce?
In 2018, the case of Mills v Mills  the Supreme Court ruled that a divorced husband should not have to increase payments to his ex-wife after she mismanaged her finances following their split. This led to many headlines declaring “No More Meal Tickets for Life”.
In 2018 in Baroness Deech’s Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill 2017-19, a private members’ bill was also introduced to limit spousal maintenance payments to five years. It is clear the English court’s reputation for being exceptionally generous to the financially weaker party in a high-net-worth divorce is up for serious debate and possible and reform.
Spousal Maintenance Orders are still relatively rare, whereby a clean break being the preferred option for many. They are granted in only 16% of cases and our team will use tenacity, persuasive legal submissions, and expert evidence to ensure your wealth is protected and equally we will fight for you to receive the income from your spouse should you need it for a period of time and where they have the means to pay it.
What you should know about spouse maintenance
- Spousal maintenance is an option available to divorcing couples. Where a clean break is not appropriate due to the circumstances of the case and the financially weaker spouse’s position spousal maintenance can be considered.
- Spousal maintenance is completely different to child maintenance. Child maintenance this statutory and the level is determined by the child maintenance act. The online calculator at www.cmoptions.co.uk is easy to use. Spousal maintenance cannot be worked out using an online calculator and there is no fast and hard. Maintenance is calculated on the merits of each case.
- If you find yourself in a position with no income following separation, you could make a claim for spouse maintenance during the divorce proceedings and in some cases as an emergency measure stop this will be based on your needs at the time.
- The grounds for your divorce and the reason of the breakdown of your marriage will not be considered when calculating spousal maintenance and will not influence the amount you receive. The behaviour that is being alleged to bring the marriage to an end generally does not have any effect on the financial proceedings and how they are considered. Only in very rare circumstances will the conduct and behaviour of a party influence the distribution of the assets.
- If the court orders that one spouse pay the other maintenance or periodical payments, then this does not mean it is guaranteed for life. The period which maintenance will be paid to a spouse will depend on the individual circumstances and there is generally a cut-off point usually enough time to allow the receiving spouse a period of adjustment to become financially independent.
- The amount that will be paid in spousal maintenance will depend on the paying spouse’s ability to make the payments. It is no easy task splitting the assets of one family to then meet the needs of two separate households the same available assets. It is therefore necessary to consider income from all sources when deciding the amount of maintenance to be paid stop
- If there is a significant difference in the incomes of the two parties to the marriage, lifestyle can be considered as a part of a general and fair division of assets.
- If circumstances change then a maintenance order can be varied at that time. It is therefore sensible to think carefully about other ways in which your needs can be met and achieving a fair settlement following their separation.
- Where one spouse cannot afford their legal fees, they may be entitled to claim them from their spouse, depending on their level of income and affordability.
- If you are the one that is paying maintenance, you should keep in mind that an application can be made to vary/change this. If you make an application to vary a maintenance order, then the court will be forced to reconsider whether at that stage a clean break is appropriate considering all the assets and income available which may have changed significantly.
What will be considered matrimonial property?
How matrimonial and non-matrimonial property are defined will have enormous significance in high-net-worth divorce. Unless the division of matrimonial property cannot meet the needs of one spouse and/or the children, the Courts will normally keep non-matrimonial property out of the financial settlement such as Inheritance received during the marriage from one spouse.
Generally, it can be argued that if the needs of the family can be fully met and the needs of any children will not be compromised then any inheritance belonging to one spouse can be “ring fenced” and kept out of the matrimonial pot.
In divorce cases involving significant wealth, there are often disputes regarding what constitutes matrimonial and non-matrimonial property. For example, one party may have an independent income deriving from an offshore trust. If this is the case, we have relationships with experts, including accountants and barristers, who can either ensure this remains non-matrimonial property, or, if you are the financially weaker spouse, have it recognised as part of the matrimonial pot.
Because we are instructed by those seeking to protect their wealth and spouses wanting a generous financial settlement, we understand the motivations and tactics used by both sides. We will, therefore, hone our strategy to deliver the best result for you.
Can I argue that I made special contributions to the relationship and therefore the court should depart from equal sharing?
The legal challenge that the wealthier spouse has made ‘special contributions’ due to the large amount they contributed to the marriage is notoriously difficult to argue. In Work v Gray , the husband stated he generated wealth of £300m in the space of 8 years, claiming he was a ‘genius’. The court countered that he was simply very good at his job and there was no special contribution on his part.
Whether or not a special contribution has been made is a developing area of law and one that will turn on its facts. We will advise you if this argument has any merit in your case and, if it has, we will represent you with intelligence, skill, and determination.