What makes a divorce more complicated?
Handling separation and divorce can already be a challenging situation. Still, there are situations where settling your divorce and finances becomes more complex, such as when you have a lot of assets to be divided, like property and businesses, or when you disagree on child arrangements. Here are some of the most common reasons your divorce may become more complicated.
Not disclosing or hiding assets
Sometimes in the divorce process, one party can try to hide their assets so that they don’t have to share them with the other spouse. They could do this by not revealing information about bank accounts, concealing asset ownership, or shifting assets to other countries or entities.
If you suspect that your partner is not disclosing all the assets that they have, you will have to alert your solicitor, who can take further action. This can include applying for a search order to track hidden assets or a freezing order to prevent your spouse from disposing of them. These applications take time, delaying the divorce process and involving extra application forms and legal costs.
In a divorce, all marital assets will need to be considered when it comes to dividing financial affairs. Matrimonial assets are those that have been acquired during the marriage. If the assets are more complex, then valuing and splitting them may take longer and involve a lot of back and forth between third-party organisations. For instance, if you have a lot of properties, you will likely need to involve a surveyor to value them. Complex assets can include the following:
Business assets: A business must be valued to establish how much maintenance payments or shares each person is entitled to for example. This usually requires professional valuation evidence.
Trusts: Trusts are often used to hold assets tax-efficiently or for inheritance planning. However, some trusts are specifically designed to conceal assets or their actual beneficial ownership. These trusts are often dissolved during the divorce process and both parties must figure out what happens to the assets held in the trust.
Family wealth: Business and personal assets, real estate, trusts, pensions, onshore and offshore investments, and inherited money are all part of wealth. The family's fortune can span decades and is typically arranged for succession and tax efficiency. Complete disclosure can be difficult, particularly when assets are kept in offshore trusts for instance. It can also be challenging to divide companies and difficult to sell shares. This can make the divorce process more complex as there are so many factors to consider.
If you have international assets such as property or bank accounts abroad you may need to adhere to international procedures when splitting these assets. This could make the process more complicated as you may need to instruct international lawyers and documents may need to be officially translated.
Additionally, when it comes to children, if one parent wants to move abroad, they may have to obtain permission from the other parent to bring the children or to arrange contact visits. If consent isn’t given, judicial approval will need to be obtained.
Disagreement on how assets should be split
Couples may need to go through financial remedy proceedings if they disagree on how assets should be split. Financial remedy proceedings are court proceedings that address a couple's finances as part of a divorce or civil partnership dissolution. When a couple divorces or dissolves their civil partnership, they sometimes can't reach an agreement on a financial settlement. This could happen when they have a lot of very complex assets like those mentioned above. This can be a lengthy process and become costly if there is a lot of back-and-forth disagreement.
Disagreement on child arrangements
If a couple has children or stepchildren from the marriage, divorce may be more difficult. It will likely raise numerous questions such as:
- Who will be responsible for the children’s daily upbringing?
- Will this parent require additional funds for child care?
- What arrangements will be made for the children to see the other parent?
- Will there be joint care, or will one of you seek complete custody of the children?
If parents cannot agree on these points through mediation, for instance, they will have to go through the court which will ultimately decide what is best for the children.
How can GloverPriest help?
Our team of specialised family law solicitors is here to provide you with support and advice on your divorce. Start your divorce online by completing this form
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