September 17, 2018

Fair Divorce Settlement When a Partner Attempts to Hide Assets

Written by Sara Plant

How can I get a fair divorce settlement if my other half is hiding the true value of their business?

Getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership would be simple if everyone agreed on the value of their assets, wouldn’t it?

When it comes to business assets, though, the process can be anything but simple and there are so many questions to ask…

  • Every business has assets, but how many are owned outright and how many are leased?
  • What kind of assets are there – from computers and printers to vehicles?
  • How has the value of those assets depreciated in recent years?
  • Does the business own property? Has it been valued recently?
  • Does the business own intellectual property which may be valuable – such as patents or trademarks?
  • Does the business have different trading arms with different names where there may be more funds or assets?

For partners and spouses not involved in a business, all of this can make your head spin.

However, to get the fair settlement you deserve, it’s important to know the real market value of assets and the value of a business as a going concern.

What can you do if your former spouse or partner isn’t co-operative about their business?

Being open is key in a divorce or civil partnership dissolution.

When one partner isn’t open, and you feel they are hiding things, this can make the process even more difficult and hold things up when you want to move on.

Some people have been known to try to ‘hide’ funds between different business concerns, or undervalue their assets.

You can:

  • Apply directly to the court to get information from your spouse or partner’s bank and accountant.
  • Get your solicitor to investigate the accounts and assets, using forensic accountants, valuers, surveyors, and other professionals.
  • Agree on a single independent expert to value the business.
  • Appoint two experts – yours and your former spouse’s – to value the business.
  • Explore mediation.

How do you choose the right legal firm for you?

Look for a practice which deals regularly with divorce cases involving businesses, particularly where there is a high value to the businesses involved.

Our experienced Peter Lynn & Partners team deals regularly with high financial value divorce cases and has the correct contacts to obtain the true financial picture of a business owner, with

business and share allocation being a particluar area of particular expertise.

That helps you receive the fair settlement you deserve.

Our friendly and approachable team are specialists in high-end divorce and as a commercial practice we have particular insight into business accounts and company valuations and have a team of commercial specialists on hand that most other family lawyers do not.

For more information and to arrange a free initial meeting, call 01792 450010 or email [email protected]