High value assets being concealed within divorce proceedings


With the added pressures following the impact of COVID19 on divorcing parties’ assets, there are various concerns over the economic impact of COVID19 on the value of assets either through depreciation or by spouses wishing to protect assets during the pandemic.

Where there are concerns over one party potentially concealing assets within divorce proceedings, then it is always worth discussing these concerns with your family lawyer who can have an initial discussion with a specialised accountant who deals with forensic investigations and asset recovery.

If there is limited information about a spouse’s assets or there is suspicion that assets may have been hidden or misappropriated, specialised family lawyers and investigative accountants can work together to trace and identify any potential assets either within the UK or in offshore jurisdictions to assess the potential recoverability.

When a spouse suspects the other of dissipating or concealing assets, this can put an extra strain on what may already be an acrimonious divorce. If clients are in control of knowing what and where their spouse’s assets are, this will allow them to have control over the proceedings in order for them to make informed decisions when negotiating a financial settlement within the divorce proceedings.

Some of the services that can be offered through a partnership with investigative accountants for the identification and protection of assets within divorce proceedings are: –

  • Corporate intelligence services – where a spouse thinks there may be hidden assets, or trust structures in place within the UK or offshore jurisdictions, specialist intelligence and research reports can be prepared, through the use of multiple UK and global databases; and open-source intelligence. They can identify assets and structures and provide that missing piece of information which may be significant when considering or entering divorce.
  • Valuation services – if a spouse is aware of corporate asset structures, then a specialist forensic valuation team can value businesses across all business areas and jurisdictions.
  • With no fault divorce/arbitration/FDR’s becoming more prevalent we have found the biggest issue is often agreeing valuations of assets, so independent valuations can be provided by one expert for both parties.
  • If the divorce becomes acrimonious, and there is a risk of dissipation or losing control of assets or corporate structures, then we can formulate a strategy to secure the assets, to be sure that assets are available to pay the agreed terms once the financial Consent Order is sealed.
  • Or indeed a strategy can be implemented to recover assets should they be found to have been dissipated following a financial Consent Order being sealed.

If you are concerned that your partner is in anyway concealing or dissipating assets beyond your reach to minimise any financial award within the divorce proceedings, it would be worth a conversation with a specialist family lawyer and an investigative accountant to advise whether they can assist in alleviating your concerns or indeed assist with securing or recovering any assets that may have been concealed, so that the fairest financial outcome is achieved.

Emma Easton
Partner
Turner Nicholson

Phone 01327 263583

Mobile 07980279889

Website www.turnernicholson.com

Email emma.easton@turnernicholson.com

Address 26 Warwick Road, Upper Boddington, Northanptonshire (Reg.office) and 55 Kingsway Place, Sans Walk, London EC1R 0LU

Hannah Davie 

Director, Insolvency and asset recovery

Grant Thornton UK LLP

D +44 (0)20 7865 2849

M +44 (0) 7887 588 947

T +44 (0)20 7383 5100

E hannah.davie@uk.gt.com  

grantthornton.co.uk

30 Finsbury Square
London, EC2A 1AG