Sponsored and written by Andrew Meehan of Harrogate Family Law.
As specialists in resolving financial settlements, particularly in complex divorces we know more than most solicitors how difficult it can be for some couples to divide their marital assets and debts.
We are well known for our financial expertise at Harrogate Family Law. I am the only solicitor in Harrogate accredited as a Resolution specialist in the maximum three specialist areas of family law: complex divorce and finance cases, emergency injunctions in financial and property matters and domestic abuse cases.
Many of the cases we deal with involve properties, pensions, businesses, trusts and inherited assets. There may also be cars, loans, art and antiques to take into consideration.
Here are 5 reasons why expertise like ours can help you get the settlement you deserve.
1. Valuing assets accurately
Even if your divorce is amicable, valuing your assets will not necessarily be straightforward. Pensions should always be valued by an expert. There have been numerous instances when this hasn’t happened and spouses have missed out on hundreds and thousands of pounds. The valuation of stocks and shares, retirement and insurance plans, trust and international interests should be overseen by a specialist family lawyer.
2. Securing full disclosure
A recent survey found that one in seven couples over the age of 40 don’t share their salary details with each other. In our experience, clients often think their partner’s income is much lower than it actually is. This may be because the income is derived from various sources, including investments, dividends and off-shore accounts. Our job is to make sure no stone is left unturned as we secure full disclosure of all assets and income streams.
3. Forensic accounting
We are fortunate to have our own in house forensic accountant who can analyse the information you share with us and alert us to any areas that need closer attention. We know exactly what we are dealing with from the outset which saves you time and money. It is always more costly and distressing to discover financial irregularities and hidden assets further down the line. We work with a network of financial experts and forensic accounting specialists who can help us with specific areas when needed.
4. Hidden assets
It is not unusual for a spouse to start rearranging their affairs before even raising the subject of a divorce. You may not realise that assets have been hidden or disposed of, particularly if your spouse has looked after the family finances. Even if you don’t raise any suspicions yourself, we will be able to tell if there have been attempts to hide assets.
5. Tax implications
Tax is one area that couples often forget to consider when they embark on divorce. By structuring your settlement tax efficiently you can both end up with a larger settlement. As financial family law specialists we discuss the tax implications of your divorce early in the process so that steps can be taken to minimise your tax liability. The formal date of separation is important for tax reasons. For some couples it may be beneficial to delay their divorce until the start of the new tax year. Couples can use their annual Capital Gains Tax exemptions wisely by choosing when to sell certain assets.
Click here for more advice on divorce and money or call us on 01423 594 680 to speak to our team. Email Andrew.email@example.com