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June 2013 - ‘With all my worldly goods I thee endow'

By Howard Gardener, director and solicitor, specialising in Family Law

The current high profile divorce case of Prest v Petrodel, decided by the Supreme Court on 12 June 2013, is a sobering example of how a business can be threatened by an acrimonious divorce.  Mr Prest, a very wealthy businessman, was ordered to transfer company assets to settle his former wife’s financial claims, in the amount of £17.5 million. 

It is not just multi-millionaires who need to protect their assets.  The reality is that anyone who has business interests and is considering getting divorced should seek expert legal advice as early as possible. A specialist solicitor will advise on how the process works, and will be able to work with your accountant to find the best solution.

You were probably not thinking about your business assets when you recited your wedding vows but if you are now getting divorced, the words “with all my worldly goods I thee bestow”, might play a major part in your future financial well-being, both on a personal and professional level.  

Getting divorced will have an impact on both your personal and business assets and having a family business, for example, is considered by the court to be an asset alongside the matrimonial / partnership home, investments and pensions.

There are other considerations that may be taken into account, such as whether your business was started before or during your marriage, who started the business and whether your spouse was active in the business and wants to remain so.  This can be extremely important where there has been a long marriage and particularly, where the business is of significant value. 

Divorce can be one of the most difficult and stressful times in your personal life but protecting your business is as important as protecting your family.  Our solicitor teams at Phillips offer extensive legal expertise in the areas of business and family law. 

 Howard Gardener  D/L 01256 854632 email: hgardener@phillips-law.co.uk