'What's in the Pot?' – separating assets in divorce

'What's in the Pot?' - separating assets in divorce

If you are going through or thinking of separating from your spouse or partner, often the first question you may have is how the family finances are dealt with.

Some assets are 'obvious'; properties, savings, investments and assets such as jewelry or paintings etc.

Additionally, there are 'invisible assets' such as pensions, share save schemes, share options for which valuations are obtained to add to the 'pot'. Often, separating couples will have over-looked these and may be surprised at their value.  In some cases, the pensions are the largest assets of the marriage.

In some instances there may be 'hidden assets' and if a fair settlement is to be achieved these need to be identified. These may include trusts and off shore assets; a specialised area which will necessitate both experience and persistence in obtaining the complete picture.

Businesses bring a further dimension to identifying assets, whether you (or your spouse) are self-employed, a shareholder in a private business, part of a family business, a farming operation or an investor.  All have different complexities and risks.

It is crucial the above financial information is obtained in order to move to the next step which is to negotiate the settlement; the devil is in the detailThe importance of accurate information cannot be underestimated.

It may seem possible for you and your spouse or partner to 'just divide up the assets' but it is imperative to ensure that any divisions or transfer of assets do not trigger tax or capital gains issues, and if they do that these issues are dealt with within the agreement. The apportionment of liabilities is equally important.

At Leeds Day Solicitors, we have specialist knowledge of business and pension issues that may be involved and we can call upon assistance from our other teams on commercial matters, trust issues and investments.

To find out more, contact Simon Thomas on 0844 567 2222 or send an email to family@leedsday.co.uk.  Quote this article when making an appointment before the end of November 2014 and your first 30 minute consultation will be free.

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