Example case study: division of assets and finances in high-net-worth divorce

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The following case study is based on a matter that our divorce finance solicitors typically take on.

Our divorce finance solicitors advised a couple on the division of their money and assets, and arrangements for their three children.

Janet, a part-time teacher, and Eric, a full-time IT consultant, had been married for 20 years and had three children. Jon lived away from the family home (his dad, Eric, paid his rent) and Sarah and Casey lived at the family home, a large five-bed house near the private school which Casey attended.

Janet and Eric had gradually grown apart and were spending less time together, with Eric travelling for his work and Janet being left alone with the children. Eric had become largely estranged from the children and Casey was not happy being left alone with him.

The couple agreed to divorce on the basis of Eric’s mild unreasonable behaviour. The contents of the Divorce Petition were checked by Eric’s solicitor before it was sent to the court, so there were no surprises.

Disagreement over the division of finances and childcare

The couple were in disagreement about:

  • The value of the family house
  • Whether Casey should remain in private school;
  • Whether Eric should continue to pay Jon’s rent and contribute towards University costs for Sarah;
  • Whether Janet could keep the house and for how long; and
  • Whether Janet should receive spousal maintenance.

Eric also wanted to keep his pension, and to have equal care of Casey (which Janet disagreed with).

Our divorce solicitors recommended that the parties should attend mediation.

Reaching a settlement

Eric and Janet were able to reach an agreement following a combination of mediation meetings and negotiations between their respective solicitors.

In relation to financially supporting the children, the parties were able to agree that, as Jon was independent and working, he should start paying his own rent. They also agreed that Sarah would secure student loans to fund her studies and Eric would provide some financial support. Eric agreed to pay one-half of the school fees with Janet paying the other half for as long as she works at the school.

Our divorce solicitors negotiated an agreement that Janet would have an equal share of Eric’s pension and stay in the house until Casey left primary. It was agreed that when Casey attended state secondary school in a slightly different area with cheaper housing, the assets would be divided fairly in all the circumstances and to meet both sets of housing needs.

Child maintenance was agreed in line with the Child Maintenance Service. Spousal maintenance (this is an additional payment from Eric to Janet) was also arranged to meet all Janet’s outgoings pending Casey finishing primary school when Janet could work longer hours at which time there would be a ‘clean break’, i.e.no further financial claims against the other. A Consent Order documented the financial agreement.

Child arrangements were agreed on the basis that Casey would live with Janet and have weekend time with Eric following a period of rebuilding the relationship.

Contact our divorce finance solicitors

Our divorce solicitors believe that the best way of resolving financial issues is through negotiation, wherever possible.

To speak to our expert divorce lawyers, call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form. We work with clients across Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Bishopston, Clifton, Kingswood, Queen Square and Thornbury.

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