Consider how fortunes can change when agreeing a divorce settlement
Published: 3rd September 2010
A local solicitor believes that the outcome of a recent court case, which prevented a newly divorced woman from claiming more money from her former husband after the value of his shares rose sharply, has important implications for many separating couples.
According to Sara Plummer of Ward Gethin in King's Lynn, "This couple agreed a lump sum payment when they got divorced in 2006, which was based on the estimated value of a company in which he was a major shareholder. The following year, however, it was sold for more than four times this estimate, causing her to reopen their divorce case.
"However, the husband successfully argued on appeal that his situation was no different from someone who, having agreed a settlement, saw the value of their assets collapse due to the credit crisis. In both cases, the original agreement was based on an unknown financial future - “ in this particular instance on the 'highly speculative' value of his shareholding."
Sara recommends strongly that people considering a divorce should bear in mind the potential for significant future fluctuations in either partner's fortunes. As she says, "When reaching an agreement, it is possible to allow for an unknown future by ensuring that special clauses are in place. This is particularly important if one or other of the partners possesses assets that are of an unknown or possibly changing value.
"At Ward Gethin, our specialist family lawyers are highly experienced in ensuring that agreements are fair to both, removing the areas of uncertainty that have plagued so many. Please call us on 01553 660033 to arrange an initial confidential discussion."