My spouse and I are currently going through a divorce. How can I make sure that my business and financial assets are protected once the process is complete?
The crucial thing to remember here is that getting divorced does not in itself mean that you and your spouse are financially separated, and that a legally binding Financial Remedy Order is required to actually make this the case.
There are numerous examples of one party of a divorced couple making a claim on the personal and business assets of the other long after they have separated or divorced, such as when the latter has achieved significant financial success later in life.
This has been allowed because there was no binding Financial Remedy Order in place, which provided for a financial clean break.
A Financial Remedy Order can be reached by consent, through mediation or with the help of lawyers, with the process requiring the assessment of all the assets belonging to the couple.
The value of more intangible contributions to the marriage, such as care of children and of the home, can also be taken into account through this process.
A statement of financial information is provided by each party to the court which offers an approximation of their respective financial situations both before and after the proposed financial settlement.
If a court judges this to be fair, then the Financial Remedy Order becomes legally binding.
If the feeling is that this isn’t the case, the court can suggest that action is taken to remedy its concerns, with mediators and solicitors able to assist with acting on these considerations.
If a couple can’t reach an agreement themselves, they may need to apply to the Court for a judge to decide what is a fair outcome, and make a binding Financial Remedy Order.
The essential thing to remember is that, however you get there, obtaining a Financial Remedy Order is the way in which your assets can be legally protected from any future claims that might one day unexpectedly come your way.