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Avoid costly mistakes

“At last I can say I have found a family lawyer who knows what they are doing.”

Everyone thinks their case is straightforward. However, you’re unlikely to be aware of the many pitfalls which can trap the unwary and jeopardise your future. We are experts, we spot and avoid problems before they cost you time, money and unnecessary worry.

 

How we make sure you don’t make costly mistakes

Our legal knowledge and experience means we recognise the unique features in each case, spot potential problems and complications and take early action to iron out difficulties.

Lawyers without our depth of experience will generally identify problems too late or miss them completely, costing you time, money and unnecessary stress.

Worse still, if you don’t use a solicitor at all for your divorce, you leave yourself even more vulnerable to very costly mistakes.

Some examples of common mistakes people can fall into are (and this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Not ensuring that all of the assets are protected from being squandered or hidden by the other party. If steps are not taken to safeguard the assets, then you may find that your spouse gets rid of them and you receive much less by way of settlement than you should.
  • Negotiating directly with your spouse where they are used to negotiating but you may not be. They may run rings around you which may cost you a lot of money because they may persuade you to acceot a much lower settlement than you are entitled to.
  • Working on incorrect valuations of assets, such as pension schemes, businesses  and properties. If assets are not valued correctly then you could receive a much lower financial settlement than you deserve.
  • Failing to spot where a party has failed to disclose or hidden assets or income. A failure to spot this means that you could receive a much lower financial settlement than you’re entitled to.
  • Not understanding technical issues, such as the different ways in which pension benefits or business assets can be valued and the value in them shared or the existence of and impact of tax. Making this mistake can cost you a lot of money.
  • Not being aware of the importance of spousal maintenance and how much and how long this should be paid for. Falling into this trap could mean that you and your family do not have enough money to live on.
  • Not considering what might happen if a party falls ill or dies or something unexpected happens. Making this mistake could cost you a lot of money when you need it most.
  • Failing to reduce the risk of you having further problems in the future. Falling into this trap could mean that you have to revisit the settlement in the future.

We are experts, we spot and avoid these problems before they cost you time, money and unnecessary worry.

 

How we spotted a problem for our client before it was too late – case study

Our client was part of a farming family, where her husband operated a farm with his father. When the husband provided details of his finances, he claimed that he was worth little money and that it was his father who was the one who owned the farm.

Whenever third parties have an interest in property held by one or both parties to the marriage, it tends to be necessary to determine the extent of that party’s interests and how that interest should be dealt with within the proceedings. If some or all of the property is subject to a tenancy, this may affect its value if it is not sold with vacant possession. In the case of commercial property, a tenancy may increase the value.

In this situation, a valuation had to be obtained on the totality of the family interest as well as other matters such as the farming machinery and stock.

An expert valuation was obtained on the farming business to establish income potential and establish liabilities in terms of tax. We secured the services of a specialist valuer to establish the true value of the farm. We also used our expertise to prove that the husband had an interest in the land and assets which he claimed were owned by his father.

By identifying and tackling these issues head on right from the start we were able to agree a fair and much enhanced settlement that provided for our client whilst also securing the future of the family farm and agricultural business.

 

 

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