In the intricate landscape of divorce, safeguarding assets is a paramount concern. As trusted legal advisors, we recognise the importance of delivering nuanced guidance to our clients. In this edition, we delve briefly into some strategies to protect assets in divorce proceedings under English law.
1. Pre-Nuptial Agreements
Although not infallible, these agreements carry significant weight in English courts and provide a documented framework for asset division. A thoroughly drafted pre-nuptial agreement that meets the relevant criteria can be instrumental in preserving financial interests during divorce proceedings.
2. Declarations of Trust
A declaration of trust is another possible step toward asset protection. These documents record beneficial ownership interests especially in circumstances where there may otherwise be ambiguity in determining the real ownership of an asset. If prepared in a timely manner declarations of trust can help to eliminate doubt and clearly define each party’s share.
3. Loan Agreements
A well-crafted loan agreement prepared prior to any sums being lent not only outlines repayment terms but also serves as a legal instrument protecting the interests of the lending party.
4. Legal Charge
By securing a debt against an asset, parties can introduce an additional layer of safeguarding. A legal charge allows a lender to secure the money they have lent to an individual or a company. It is a legal document signed by the borrower which should be registered against the property at the Land Registry (and companies house, if relevant). A legal charge can also be described as a secured loan and can serve as clear evidence of intention for the lending party.
5. Post-Nuptial Agreements
Post-nuptial agreements are prepared after marriage, offering an opportunity to redefine asset division terms. While their enforceability may vary, provided they also meet the relevant criteria, they serve as valuable tools in addressing changing circumstances and help to reinforce financial agreements within the marriage.
6. Other Trusts
By transferring ownership to a trust, parties may be able to create a protective buffer. Standalone trusts, when appropriately structured, offer flexibility and privacy while safeguarding assets for future generations.
7. Tailored Protective Measures
This may involve utilizing various types of trusts, establishing family investment companies, or employing strategic tax planning. Tailoring strategies to the specific needs of each client ensures the most effective protection.
Navigating the complexities of family law requires a comprehensive and adaptable approach. Our lawyers are specialists in this field and can advise parties as to some of the options available as well as the pitfalls they may face in their specific circumstances with a view to securing their financial well-being both before marriage and/or throughout the challenging process of a potential divorce. As with all financial dealings, it is important that specialist tax and/or financial advice is taken on the implications of any proposed strategy before any final decisions are made.
Contact our Family Team at Vyman
Zharna Sutaria is the Head of the Family department, if you have any questions about divorce, finance or pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, why not her a call at Vyman Solicitors on 020 3927 7779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The content of this article has been prepared for informational purposes only. This content does not constitute legal advice, nor does it give rise to a solicitor/client relationship. Specialist legal advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.