Osbourne Pinner is a team of leading divorce solicitors with offices in Piccadilly and Harrow.
You can book a confidential consultation by calling 0203 983 5080 or by email at email@example.com
We have a strong track record in representing High Net Worth individuals through the legal processes of divorce. With our trusted, dynamic approach, you’re assured of an optimal outcome – however complex the considerations, assets, and structures.
High Net Worth divorces frequently involve highly complex financial and legal structures, procedures, and judgments. For this reason, it requires expert legal advice and representation.
The complexity of High Net Worth divorce cases arises for several reasons:
These are all strong reasons for seeking expert legal assistance from a firm with successful experience
Going through the divorce process can be one of the most stressful, challenging, and difficult experiences in your life. And as high net worth (HNW) divorces frequently involve highly complex financial and legal structures, procedures, and judgments, the process can bring added pressure and complications. For this reason, a high net worth divorce requires expert legal advice, representation, and support to help you through every aspect of the divorce process.
The information on this page will help you understand the key issues surrounding high net worth divorce, including protecting business, inherited, and offshore assets and establishing jurisdiction – and how we can help you, which includes:
Divorce is often cited as one of life’s most stressful events, alongside the death of a loved one and moving house. But while counselling, plus help and support from friends and employers, is available for many of these life experiences, the divorce process can feel different, and often both petitioner and respondent go through it alone.
The high net worth divorce process is an emotional rollercoaster with complex legal and financial consequences to work through. But these issues don’t just affect the relationship between the two parties. They can also significantly impact the mental health and lives of your wider family, especially children and grandparents, perhaps even long-term.
When a family is split through a divorce, the division of the marital and family home and financial and business implications can create an even more acrimonious and drawn-out situation. In these circumstances, arrangements for children should be a top priority, with child custody or arrangement orders helping to secure stability for children and consistency for other family members.
Any regular or HNW divorce can be complicated and impact all concerned on many levels. But, alongside similar problems, a high net worth divorce will also raise legal, commercial, and financial issues that wouldn’t normally be part of a regular divorce. There are a lot of complexities to work through and some key issues to take into consideration.
These key issues will demand the legal expertise of a high net worth divorce solicitor who understands them and can navigate the unique difficulties surrounding each of them, to unravel them and secure your desired outcome. Some of the key issues in high net worth divorce can include:
Further complexities can arise in high net worth divorces where a significant amount of assets are held in a privately owned business. Understanding the legal and commercial issues of ownership and various financial structures within the business is a time-consuming and detailed task.
More complexity arises because the assets held in the business can be difficult to distribute. Even if a valuation is taken and agreed upon, disclosure from other invested parties can cause further delay and complication. In some cases, the solution requires one party to raise funds to buy shares. In other scenarios, it may be necessary to sell the business to share the assets held in the business.
The Osbourne Pinner team is experienced in dealing with these issues and will support you in overcoming complex ownership structures, including inter-related onshore and offshore corporate and trust structures, and agreeing on the best commercial outcome.
Inevitably, a great deal of time and resources during high net worth divorces and ultra high net worth divorces will focus on the disclosure and non-disclosure of assets. Establishing whether the assets are matrimonial or non-matrimonial can also have implications running into many millions of pounds.
Given the significant sums involved, establishing the status of assets must be a key focus for your legal team. For example, the origin of dynastic wealth may justify a departure from the principle of equality. However, where the needs of the spouse and any children cannot be met by matrimonial wealth alone, there may be grounds to seek to share non-matrimonial property or assets.
Understanding the value of assets should begin at an early stage in high net worth divorce proceedings. This is particularly true where non-disclosure of assets could be an issue or where a significant proportion of assets are held in offshore trusts where it takes time to unlock information.
Osbourne Pinner can support you through the process of untangling these complex arrangements, including seeking disclosure in overseas territories and establishing that a spouse holds significant undisclosed resources.
High net worth individuals will often have significant financial interests in trusts, whether they’re a settlor or a beneficiary. These trust assets and how they’re treated can significantly impact divorce proceedings, making it a more complex issue. These issues can be further complicated if the trust is onshore in England or Wales or held offshore.
A request for information and documentation can be made for onshore trusts, but this can be more difficult with offshore trusts. Our solicitors are highly experienced in trust assets in high net worth divorce cases and will be able to advise you on how these may affect your divorce and ensure it becomes part of your desired outcome.
Inherited wealth that’s classified as matrimonial or non-matrimonial assets will usually be a more significant factor in high net worth divorce than in regular divorce cases.
Matrimonial assets – money or property acquired during marriage – will automatically be included in any settlement. Non-matrimonial assets – money or property acquired from a source outside the marriage, including inheritance – won’t be automatically included but will be considered if necessary. But inheritance can also change classification from non-matrimonial to matrimonial if it’s money or property from which each party and the family has benefitted.
Non-matrimonial wealth or assets can prove to be a contentious issue and will often be argued whether or not they should be shared or divided in the settlement. Osbourne Pinner has the best
High-value property is another significant asset in any high net worth divorce, especially as it’s not uncommon for couples to own multiple properties in different countries. There can even be extensive property portfolios for commercial and residential use.
Reaching an agreement on the valuation of these properties can take time to achieve – especially if they’re disputed and included as matrimonial assets – and any sales would be determined by a fluctuating housing market and currency exchange rates. Looking into these properties, their status, and their sale is complex and requires the expertise of our skilled solicitors.
When a high net worth couple divorces, the division of their offshore assets can be complex with many issues to consider, including enforcement, taxation, and international jurisdiction.
Enforcement can be complicated if one spouse moves or hides assets in an offshore account. Taxation is also an issue, as some countries have different tax laws than others. Jurisdiction can also add to the complexities, as some countries won’t recognise foreign divorce laws. Expertise in international jurisdiction is essential to ensure your offshore assets are divided fairly and efficiently.
Child support in high net worth divorces can be controversial and hotly disputed. Beyond custody matters, the focus shifts to support and maintenance payments and school fees, if applicable. This is because these are the key areas where children can potentially be deprived of the lifestyle they enjoyed during marriage.
However, other factors must be considered when determining child support, including all sources of income. If one parent has significantly more assets and income than the other, that parent pays a larger percentage of the child’s expenses. And when spouses earn over £156,000, additional financial measures will be required for any school fees.
Each high net worth divorce case is unique. We can give you the support and legal advice you need from the child custody agreement and other child arrangements, including how it will affect the establishment of spousal and family needs.
Regarding high net worth divorces, spousal maintenance can be another contentious issue. One spouse may feel entitled to continue living the same lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage, while the other may feel that they shouldn’t have to support their ex’s lavish lifestyle.
In high net worth divorce matters, the income disparity between couples can be significant. If one party has a higher income than the other party, it may be appropriate to introduce a spousal maintenance agreement so both parties maintain a high standard of living.
We’ll negotiate a fair spousal maintenance agreement on your behalf that ensures your partner or former partner lives on a reasonable amount of income after your divorce. We can also provide advice about temporary maintenance payments, which the court should order before the divorce is finalised so both parties are on equal financial footing during negotiations.
Pensions can be complicated at the best of times, but in the case of high net worth people, it can be a tax-efficient way to divert funds and, therefore, becomes a huge asset. But often, pension funds can go unconsidered in divorce cases, despite being a large part of someone’s wealth. Other details surrounding pensions can include the type and how to value it.
Our expert divorce solicitors in London will seek full disclosure of any details from the pension-owning partner and how and when either spouse has made any contributions. We can then look into how best to divide the pension through a specific Pension Order to help protect your wealth.
High net worth divorces often involve different issues, many of which we’ve listed above. But there can be other special considerations depending on the case. These can include:
We can advise you on high net worth divorce or dissolution of civil partnership cases involving same-sex couples and LGBTQI+ partners.
We also have experience advising on high net worth divorce cases under UK and Islamic Sharia law and the sensitive cultural and religious differences involved.
The end of a marriage can be an emotionally charged and upsetting time. This is precisely why it’s so useful to know that you can rely on the supportive skills and expertise of a qualified team of professionals to help as you navigate difficult circumstances. But it may be that you and your partner prefer to reach an agreement through other means.
Couples can use arbitration to reach an agreement as an alternative to court proceedings. The couple chooses an independent arbitrator, who is then permitted to make a judgement on arrangements. Both parties should be in agreement to be bound by the final decisions taken by the arbitrator.
If children are involved in your high net worth divorce, then independent mediation is a less confrontational method of reaching an agreement with the mediator guiding you both towards a successful resolution. The process can be a more constructive way to handle finances and child support issues.
A collaborative approach to arrangement involves all parties and their solicitors meeting face-to-face to reach an agreement on fundamental issues, including child support and specific finances. Because everyone is in the same room, meetings are often more productive, exploring different options, all within a safe space with legal support on hand.
As a specialist high net worth divorce law firm, Osbourne Pinner has a strong track record and the legal expertise to represent high and ultra-high net worth individuals through these legal divorce processes. With our trusted, dynamic approach, you’re assured of an optimal outcome, however complex the considerations, assets, and structures.
Book your free, confidential consultation with our team at the best divorce solicitor in London now. Contact us and send a message, call
A high net worth divorce is one in which the husband and wife have a combined net worth of £1 million or more. This type of divorce is usually more complex than a standard divorce, as there are more assets to divide between the two parties.
In addition, high net worth divorces often involve child custody and support issues, as well as alimony payments. If you are considering a high net worth divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help protect your rights and interests.
A high net worth divorce can offer many benefits, including a fair division of assets, greater privacy, and a faster process.
For couples with a large number of assets, a high net worth divorce can be the best option to ensure a fair division of property. Oftentimes, these divorces are handled by experienced attorneys who are familiar with the complexities of dividing up high value assets.
In addition to a more equitable division of assets, high net worth divorces also offer greater privacy. Because these cases often involve complex financial matters, they are typically not public record. This can give couples some much-needed privacy during what is often a difficult and emotional time.
Finally, high net worth divorces tend to be quicker than other types of divorce proceedings. This is because the couple often has access to resources that can help expedite the process.
When it comes to divorce, no two cases are alike. But when high net worth individuals are involved, the stakes are often much higher. If you're considering a high net worth divorce, it's important to understand the process and what to expect.
For starters, a high net worth divorce is one where the combined assets of the divorcing couple are valued at £1 million or more. This can include property, investments, businesses, and other assets.
The first step in a high net worth divorce is to determine which assets are marital property and which are separate property. Marital property is any asset that was acquired during the marriage and is subject to division in a divorce. Separate property is any asset that was acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation.
Once all of the assets have been properly classified, they will be valued by experts.
When a marriage ends in divorce, there are often financial claims that follow. To protect yourself from these claims, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities.
If you have any joint accounts with your former spouse, close them as soon as possible. This includes credit cards, bank accounts, and investment accounts. You should also close any joint lines of credit. If you have any jointly owned property, such as a home or a car, sell it and divide the proceeds evenly between you.
It is also important to keep track of all of your assets and liabilities. Make sure you know where all of your money is invested and how much debt you owe. Keep copies of all financial documents in a safe place. These documents can include tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and investment statements.
When it comes to dissolving a marriage, property division can be one of the most contentious issues. But what if you could protect your assets ahead of time?
Putting your assets in a trust during your marriage can be an effective way to shield them in the event of a divorce. This strategy can be especially useful if you have significant assets or are marrying someone with substantially less money.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you're considering this approach. First, you'll need to consult with an experienced attorney to set up the trust. And second, any assets that you put into the trust will likely be considered separate property, meaning they won't be subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.
If you're thinking about protecting your assets in a divorce, setting up a trust during your marriage may be worth considering.
If you think your partner is hiding assets, there are a few things you can do. First, try to get copies of any financial documents that may be relevant, such as tax returns, bank statements, and investment records. If your partner is resistant to sharing these documents, it could be an indication that they are hiding something.
Another way to look for hidden assets is to see if there are any discrepancies between your partner's reported income and their spending patterns. If they are spending more money than they should be based on their income, it's possible that they are using hidden assets to finance their lifestyle.
If you suspect that your partner is hiding assets, it's important to talk to them about it. Try to have an open and honest conversation about your concerns and see if they are willing to provide information about their finances.
When it comes to divorce, the stakes are high. The decisions made during this time will have a lasting impact on your life, both emotionally and financially. This is why it's so important to hire a solicitor who specialises in high net worth divorces. Here are just a few of the benefits:
1. They can help you protect your assets. One of the biggest concerns during a divorce is how to divide up your assets fairly. A high net worth divorce solicitor will know how to value and divide your assets in a way that is fair to both parties.
2. They can help you negotiate a settlement that is favourable to you. Divorce can be emotionally draining, and it can be difficult to think clearly about what you want from the settlement. A solicitor will be able to negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you get what you're entitled to.
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