The Business of Divorce - Approaching a Divorce Settlement

Where business owners and directors are concerned however, there is the added complication of wanting to protect the long-term interests of the business within the divorce settlement.

I specialise in acting for business owners, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals in divorce settlements and would provide the following advice when approaching this difficult time:

Consult experts at an early stage.

If you own a business, be it a partnership, limited company or if you operate on a sole-trader basis, it is likely that this its value (whether in terms of capital or as an income producing asset) will be taken into account in a similar way to the value of the marital home, savings and pensions and included within your ‘marital pot’. Business owners should seek advice from a solicitor experienced in representing entrepreneurs and business owners as the complex financial issues involved require specialist advice. In addition, a good working relationship with the business’ accountants is key to identifying the value of a business and issues in relation to liquidity so that informed decisions can be made as to how the business should be treated within divorce proceedings.

Keep a cool head.

The process of reaching a financial settlement within divorce proceedings can often bring out a hard edge to your spouse’s personality. Amongst the arguments, keep sight of the end goal. Many business people often channel their frustrations into a determination to work harder on their business, coming out stronger at the other side of their divorce.
Consider pre-nuptial agreements.

Following a divorce, it is unlikely that you will be thinking of is rushing straight into another long-term relationship. However, if and when you do find yourself in this position, you should consider having a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up. Such agreements are currently not binding on the Courts, but they are gaining in influence and in certain circumstances, they do carry ‘decisive weight’.

Antonia Love
Farleys Solicitors