The growing complexity in matrimonial finances

By George Horley, Pierce

08 Dec 2023

George Horley Pierce

Couples marrying later in life can bring significant accumulation of wealth and assets into the marriage.

This has contributed to the growing complexity in matrimonial finance.

Easy access to financial and tax advice has facilitated intricate personal financial arrangements such as complex pension arrangements, trusts, and other investments.

Business and corporate structures can include group companies, joint ventures and trusts, often governed by detailed shareholders’ agreements.

Assessing the value of these assets and navigating their disposal or transfer in the event of a divorce, including consideration of the tax implications, can be a daunting prospect if expert forensic advice is not sought.

As forensic accountants, we are often instructed in divorce proceedings as a single joint expert to value the relevant companies, including consideration of maintainable earnings or sustainable income.

In such cases, we are independent of both parties and their duty is to the court.

We are also instructed as a shadow expert in matrimonial cases. The role of the shadow expert is to provide expert assistance and advice directly to the instructing party.

As well as assisting with the preparation of questionnaires in respect of disclosures on the Form E and the further information required to understand the financial position of the parties, we regularly advise on raising questions on the report of the single joint expert or clarifying aspects of the valuation process.

For over 30 years, our reports and advice have helped clear the muddy waters of matrimonial finance and divorce proceedings.

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