Divorce involving a business is complex but Divorce Solicitors can play a vital role in helping you achieve a fair financial settlement when business assets form a key part of the family wealth.
As divorce financial settlements involving business assets add an extra layer of complexity, it is important to seek expert legal advice and guidance from specialist Family Law Solicitors.
Our team will discuss with you the available range of financial settlement options and the relevance of business assets, so you can secure a financial settlement specifically tailored to your circumstances, needs and priorities.
Initial Telephone Discussion
If you or your spouse have a business you will need to disclose the asset as part of your duty to give full and frank financial disclosure. The likelihood is that the business asset will need to be valued.
There may be an argument that business interests are not ‘family assets’. This argument may be raised if the business was acquired prior to your marriage or you entered into a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement or for other reasons. Even if the Court finds that a business asset is not a ‘family asset’, the Court can still take the business value into account if it is needed to meet the parties’ needs.
Expert Family Law Solicitors can advise on whether a business valuation is necessary. For example, a valuation may not be necessary if the business is a shell company or if it comprises a buy-to-let property portfolio where the properties, rather than the company, need to be the subject of up-to-date valuations.
Working with our Corporate Law Solicitors, the Family Law team can help look at the type of business valuation and valuation methodology that is most appropriate in the circumstances of your case. Most businesses are valued by a Single Joint Expert, appointed by the parties or the Court. The expert can be asked to address specific issues, such as:
- Relevant PE ratio for valuation purposes.
- Minority shareholder discount.
- Special matters that may affect the share valuation, such as the terms of the Shareholder Agreement or the recent loss of a commercial contract.
- The liquidity of the shares.
- The tax implications of a sale or transfer of shares.
Court Orders and Businesses
The Court has the power to order:
- The sale of a business or shares.
- The transfer of shares.
- The payment of a lump sum.
- The payment of spousal maintenance based on projected business income. Spousal Maintenance Orders can be made for life or can be time limited.
Whilst a Court can order a business sale, this is highly unusual. If you are concerned about how Family Law Court Orders may affect your business our specialist Divorce Solicitors can talk you through the likely range of Orders, taking into account the extent of all the family assets and other factors, such as the length of your marriage.
As divorce and business Solicitors we have the expertise to advise in complex financial settlements involving businesses. We can help with:
- Cases where a spouse is an employee in the family business and who has Family Law and Employment Law rights.
- Couples who want to continue in business together after their divorce. This can be achieved with a Financial Court Order combined with a Shareholder Agreement or Partnership Agreement.
- Orders where one spouse exits the business for an agreed financial settlement. We make sure the right Family and Corporate Law paperwork is completed, such as indemnities, to provide protection.
- Achieving financial closure on divorce so there is no concern about future financial applications involving the business. This can be achieved with the making of a clean break Financial Court Order preventing all future claims.
- The ringfencing of business assets with the use of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements.
Our divorce team are experts on advising on divorce and the family business and are here to help you reach a financial settlement.
Where possible we will offer a fixed fee, so you will know what the costs are from the start. For more complex or uncertain projects, we will provide you with an estimate of the likely fees involved and keep you updated throughout the matter.
How to get in contact
Our offices are based in Basingstoke and we assist clients across the country.
We aim to keep legal jargon to a minimum and guide you through the process in a manner that is easy to understand.
Our highly-skilled solicitors offer tailored, strategic solutions to even the most complex matters, ensuring you receive the guidance and support you need.
We will be by your side throughout every stage of the process and will provide you with regular updates and advice along the way.
We communicate thoroughly with you from the outset to ensure that we fully understand your individual needs. This allows us to accurately quote for your matter leaving you without any unexpected surprises and fees further down the line.
We provide our clients with a concise and transparent breakdown of costs from the outset of the matter and throughout any subsequent stages. This enables you to build faith and trust in us early on to form a lasting relationship.
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