When divorcing couples talk about splitting their assets they’re usually referring to the family home. Admittedly this can be a big part of the settlement but there could be a lot more up for grabs if you know where to look.

1. Pensions

Countless people have lost out on hundreds of thousands of pounds in the past because they didn’t deal correctly with their spouse’s pension. Pensions are very complicated but valuable assets which need to be examined very carefully before agreeing a split of them.  Pensions can be valued in different ways, so it’s important to understand how their values have been arrived at, otherwise you can lose out financially. We have specialist knowledge in this area and experience has shown that the value of a pension can be higher than that of the marital home.

2. Investments

We’re not talking about simple savings accounts here. Most people will know about those already and will have factored them in. The things that often go unnoticed are stocks and shares, insurance policies, employee share schemes and other similar incentives and benefits. We look at all this in detail for our clients to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

3. Heirlooms

Your may have never liked your spouse’s antique vase or collection of rare stamps but now is the time to get them valued. They could contribute quite significantly to the asset pot.

4. Businesses

Business interests should be considered as part of the family assets, even if the business was started prior to your marriage. The business doesn’t need to be in joint names to be considered. We look at the true value of a business, the realistic income it can produce and how this money can be extracted as part of a divorce settlement.

5. Inheritance

Inheritance is a complex area and fact-specific. For example, money that has been left to one spouse very recently and has been left intact in a separate account might not be shared in some circumstances. However, you may have a claim to it as well as to inherited money that has been held in an account that has been used for family expenses, or property that has been transferred to joint names or used for the benefit of the family as a whole, even if these were originally inherited by your spouse.

Finally … Have you valued the assets accurately?

Asset valuation is complex and there can be several ways to value certain assets. Depending on how valuation has been approached, the figures are not always accurate and fair. We work very closely with property valuers, financial advisers and actuaries with expertise in pension valuation and specialist accountants who can assess business interests accurately and make sure tax issues have been taken into account.  This ensures that you get a fair deal so that you do not lose out financially.

We are also highly experienced in uncovering assets that have been hidden or undisclosed. This is really important because it’s very difficult to revisit a settlement once it has been agreed by the courts and you could end up missing out on money that will help you build a more secure future for you and your family.

To see how Harrogate Family Law can help you call us today on 01423 594680.

Carol Jessop is an experienced family lawyer specialising in finding practical solutions to resolve complex financial arrangements, protecting assets and obtaining emergency orders to provide personal protection or prevent the removal of children.

Carol has over 30 years’ experience in family law and is recognised by her clients and peers as highly knowledgeable and compassionate.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon.  If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk.