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If your home is your castle, what happens when you divorce?

19.08.21

The matrimonial home is generally the most valuable asset a couple will ever own. On the breakdown of a relationship, what happens to this sole asset can therefore form the very crux of financial proceedings. In other words: it’s the spark that lights the flame. No wonder, therefore, the matrimonial home has acquired something akin to celebrity status when it comes to divorce. The family home is not only valuable, but often hugely sentimental. Yet, unlike other assets which may be possible to divide, the family home must either go exclusively to one party, or be sold to allow for the purchase of two separate properties. Judges can also determine that pre-marital assets are to be considered in a financial division if the assets acquired during the marriage are insufficient to meet both parties’ needs.

Matters tend to be even more complicated regarding HNW and UHNW divorcees, for whom the family home may well join the ranks of a more extensive (and very likely global) property portfolio. Instead of disputing who owns what share in a single property, these kinds of settlement often enter the realms of deciphering marital from non-marital wealth. These cases are also easily saturated with further complex issues, leaving judges to navigate the jungle of untangling complex financial structures and ensuring full and frank disclosure from both sides.

The courts’ view is that marriages effectively serve as legal vehicles for allowing equal partnerships to thrive. The fruits of these joint enterprises therefore deserve equal division when they break down, regardless of whether one was the breadwinner and the other the homemaker. Any property acquisitions that arose prior to the marriage may well be ring-fenced from falling into the sticky, shared marital pot, though this is very fact, and needs, specific.

Even with HNW and UHNW cases, however, the ability to ringfence pre-marital wealth can diminish with time. The longer a couple stays together, the more the demarcation between non-marital and marital property tends to dissolve, and the assets are considered intermingled. Time is not only of the essence, though - there exist plenty of other factors that the courts take into consideration when ascertaining how to divide property between divorcing spouses. Such entails the sheer importance of obtaining the very best legal advice, with some UHNW settlements being altered by millions of pounds.

At Vardags, we have the immense privilege of an in-house forensic team who can determine the true value of your marital assets. Our leading divorce specialists can then advise on the best approach to your case, ensuring, for clients, the most beneficial division of assets following a divorce. Added to this, our expert property team, led by James Bunker, can advise on all matters relating to the sale or purchase of property, offering a completely holistic approach to your case.

https://vardags.com/

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