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High Net Worth Divorce

Our high net worth divorce lawyers are well-versed in making the divorce process as straightforward as possible, from deciding future arrangements for your children, to dealing with your finances. 

Obtaining a divorce can be a stressful and emotional process. You will have to make some very important decisions that will affect the rest of your life. High net worth divorce is often a complex and difficult process. Boodle Hatfield is on hand to guide you with professional and expert advice, helping you to secure the best possible outcome.

Whether you are initiating divorce or responding to a divorce petition, our experienced divorce lawyers will make the process as straightforward as possible for you. We will take the time to understand your situation and advise you on the best course of action. You can be assured that our team will work with absolute discretion on your case, with your best interests at heart.

We know that in divorce cases, when one or both partners has significant wealth, protecting substantial finances, properties, assets and international interests - not to mention children, custody and maintenance - can be an extremely complex process. We have worked with business owners, families with significant wealth, high earners such as sportsmen and their spouses to reach a favourable outcome in the divorce.

If you would like to know more about the divorce process, our frequently asked questions below will help you to understand a bit more about the procedure as well as the financial implications.

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Our High Net Worth Divorce Expertise

  • Financial Remedy - Dividing finances is often the most complex process of the divorce, especially with regards to high net worth divorce. Each case is entirely unique. We make sure to tailor our approach accordingly to meet your specific financial needs in the divorce. Read more about our financial remedy services
  • Children and living together agreements - This is perhaps the most emotionally challenging part of the divorce. We can advise you on all decisions that involve your children. We can help you to resolve common disagreements such as the amount of time a child spends with parents or other family members, abduction matters and if one party would like to move abroad, or to another part of the country, with the children. Read more about children and living together arrangements.
  • Business assets - You or your spouse may own a limited business, trading firm or any other company. Firstly, we can advise whether the business should be dealt with in the divorce and if necessary, how the business should be valued and divided. We work seamlessly with accountants and business advisors if need be.
  • Personal and joint assets - It is a common misconception that personal assets may be protected in the event of a divorce by keeping them out of either party’s legal ownership. We will help you to understand your rights for assets during the divorce process. You may even have concerns that your spouse has assets that they are hiding during the divorce procedures. We can help you to uncover such assets. You can read more about how to protect your assets here.
  • Trusts and pensions - Trusts and pensions can often be one of the most valuable assets in a divorce. We make sure to take these aspects into account and ensure that you understand the different types of trust and pension and how these can be efficiently divided.
  • International issues - Boodle Hatfield's high net worth divorce solicitors can advise on a wide range of matters relating to international divorce, including advice for those currently residing in the UK whose marriage took place outside of the UK. We are also experienced in working on behalf of UK citizens living overseas and who are married to a spouse of a different nationality.

Why Boodle Hatfield?

  • A calming and rational presence - Going through a divorce is a very emotional time for both parties. Regardless of whether the divorce is amicable or not, it is a step towards a major life change that will be emotionally challenging. We know that key decisions can be affected when emotions run high, which increases the potential for costly mistakes and rushed negotiations that you may regret later. The high net worth divorce lawyers at Boodle Hatfield are there to step in with a calm helping hand, advising you on the best course before any financial settlements are agreed.
  • Decades of experience - It takes a very experienced divorce lawyer to resolve cases in which one or both parties have significant wealth. Our lawyers have decades of divorce litigation experience and, whilst every case is unique, we know how to achieve the very best outcome for our clients. We strive to secure an agreement out of court, using mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce services to reach an outcome suitable for you. However, if the case is taken to court, you can be sure that you will have a very experienced and competent divorce lawyer alongside you.

  • A reputable name you can trust - Boodle Hatfield has acted for wealthy individuals, families, property owners and businesses in the United Kingdom and internationally since 1722.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get divorced? Typically, it takes around five to six months but it can take longer if there are financial matters to be resolved.

How is the divorce initiated? You can only apply for a divorce if you have been married for at least one year and either party can apply by lodging a Petition at Court. The applying party is called the ‘Petitioner’, and the receiving party is called the ‘Respondent’. In England, you will need to prove to the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, and this in turn must be proved with reference to one of five specific facts:

  1. The Respondent’s adultery (this cannot be used to evidence the irretrievable breakdown of a civil partnership or same sex marriage);
  2. The Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour;
  3. The Respondent’s desertion for 2 years (this is rare and difficult to prove);
  4. Separation for 2 years and both parties' consent;
  5. Separation for 5 years - there is no need for the Respondent to consent.

What happens next? The receiving party needs to acknowledge the Petition and say whether or not they want to defend the divorce. If undefended, the Petitioner can make an application for the first decree of divorce, the Decree Nisi. There is a mandatory six week and one day time period after the Decree Nisi is pronounced before the Petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute. This is the final order of divorce, and dissolves the marriage.

Once the Decree Nisi has been pronounced, the Court can make an order dealing with the parties’ assets. It can be unwise to apply for Decree Absolute until financial matters are settled.

How do the financial proceedings fit in with divorce proceedings? The Court deals with the financial aspects of the divorce separately from the divorce itself. A financial application can be lodged with the Court at the same time as the Petition.

What does the Court take into consideration during financial proceedings? In order to seek to achieve a fair financial outcome, the following will be considered:

  • The income, earning capacity, property, financial resources (now and in the foreseeable future both in this jurisdiction and worldwide) of each party; and
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of each party;
  • The couple’s standard of living during their marriage;
  • The length of the marriage and any period of cohabitation beforehand;
  • The age and state of health of each party; and
  • The contributions, both financial and non-financial, that each party has made to the welfare of the family.

How will the Court divide the assets? The welfare of any child is the Court’s first consideration. The Court will take all the assets into account and first consider the question of needs (of the parties and the children). In the majority of cases, the assets do not exceed the needs in which case the needs will be the determining factor. If the parties’ needs can be met, then the equal sharing (of matrimonial assets) and compensation (of relationship-generated disadvantages) principles may be engaged. The Court may leave non-matrimonial assets such as inherited wealth or assets generated before the marriage out of account and share the matrimonial assets equally. In very exceptional circumstances, a Court may deviate from the sharing principle where one of the parties has made a ‘special contribution’ to the marriage.

Find our high net worth divorce solicitor contact details here.

 

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Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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6 Grosvenor Street
London
W1K 4PZ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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6 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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