It’s not a subject ‘front of mind’ for most owners of businesses but good advice is especially important where a business and its assets are involved, if it comes to divorce.
There are some interesting numbers from the Office for National Statistics, although numbers have been affected by the impact on the courts of the pandemic.
In April 2022 there are big changes in divorce law with the introduction of ‘no fault divorce’. At the moment, someone has to be at fault or a wait of a minimum of two years is required!
There were 102,438 opposite sex divorces in 2020, a decrease of 4.8% over 2019.
Unreasonable behaviour was the most common reason used by wives in opposite sex couples.
There were 1,154 divorces amongst same sex couples, an increase of 40.4% v 2019. Most of this consisted of female same sex divorces at just
In 2020, the average duration of a marriage at the time of divorce was 11.9 years of opposite sex couples; same sex divorces showed an average of just 4.7 years for female couples and 5.4 years for male couples (divorces among same sex couples have only been possible since 2015).
Where a business is involved, the court may need to consider the value of any business and its assets which may also involve the instruction of an accountant to assist in that calculation and to inform the court in its review of how the overall assets of the marriage should be divided.
You may argue that the business is a ‘non-matrimonial’ asset, particularly if it was established before the marriage, was inherited, or significantly grows after separation due to your efforts. This may impact on a final order, although the ‘needs’ of your spouse may take priority.
Some business owners are shocked to discover that the court can order a sale, although they try not to. If both of you are shareholders the court will often order the transfer to one of you, so as not to create later ties.
With one of the largest, best-resourced Family Law Teams in the region, Wilson Browne Solicitors are always available for a free initial chat with no obligation.
Find out more about Wilson Browne Solicitors on 0800 088 6004 or visit www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk