During the recession, while there were numerous separations and divorces, asset values were low so settlements were often pre-agreed. Since 2014 the improving economic outlook has driven property assets up and future value of business are looking much more optimistic – this in reality means there is more on the table to argue about in divorce cases. There are lots of myths about how assets are split in these cases

  • It is not necessarily 50:50 split as portrayed in films. Each case split is adjudicated on its own merits – how much someone earns, what sacrifices one person made, etc.
  • Sometimes assets brought in separately to the marriage can be exited out of the marriage to restore original position (only in high net worth cases where both parties brought items in).
  • Final settlement is not always final settlement! If relevant evidence comes to light post the completion of the adjudication the courts can revisit the division of assets. It is rare but is an option.

The very nature of these proceedings make them highly emotional and tense – ending up in an expensive divorce court case needs to be avoided at all costs. In the majority of cases the parties should be able to have their financial representatives negotiate a settlement on their behalf.

Divorce case

Fear of the Hidden Assets

There are numerous ways to provide comfort to parties around allegations about hidden assets. There are countless firms who complete asset tracing exercises across the world…at a cost. Bank analysis and income tracing to ensure all monies earned are traced, etc.

Remember as an expert witness, your financial accountant’s duty will ultimately be to the court and likewise the spouse’s representative. They are essentially putting their professional reputation on the line when they enter the box on your behalf. Therefore they are not going to sacrifice their reputation for any client and support the hiding of assets from the other side.

For more information contact Noirin Burke at nburke@mcinerneysaunders.ie