In divorce, civil partnership dissolution, or separation, financial costs may be a concern, especially where you or your partner has significant wealth, property, or other assets.
In or out of court, our expert team works tirelessly to reach a fair settlement.
Financial Arrangements upon Divorce or Separation
In divorce, civil partnership dissolution, or separation, it is natural to be concerned about the financial cost that such an application could have, especially where you or your partner has significant wealth, property, or other assets.
The Royal Court of Jersey has a wide discretion to redistribute income and assets to produce a fair result regarding financial awards. It views a marriage or civil partnership as a partnership and, as such, will determine assets built up during marriage in that way.
It can consider assets held in trust by family members and held through corporate entities. Depending on the spouse’s needs it also has the discretion to consider assets earned or owned before the marriage in some circumstances. Family law financial arrangements related to divorce, civil partnership dissolution, or separation can involve complex issues, where expert lawyers and their teams unlock or protect substantial finances, properties, assets, and international interests. You will need to meet your partner’s claim with compelling arguments regarding retaining your assets as well as countering your spouse’s proposed needs and claims.
What Orders can the Royal Court Make?
In relation to financial remedies (ancillary relief), the overriding objective is to deal with cases justly (rule 47, Matrimonial Causes Rules 2005).
The Royal Court has the power to vary trusts, marriage settlements, post-nuptial settlements or separation agreements in any way it appears to the court to be just. Decisions will be made with regard to the means of the parties, the conduct of either of them (insofar as it may be inequitable to disregard it) or in the interests of any children of the family. Trusts, a company or other assets, the legal title to which is not held by one of the parties, can be taken into account as a financial resource, depending on the circumstances of the case.
The Financial remedies generally applied for and to which the Royal Court can determine if there is dispute are:
- Periodical payments (for children and spouses)
- Lump-sum payments (with security as necessary)
- Property transfers
- Orders for sale of property
- Variation of settlements
- Interim orders
What is the Royal Courts stance on the division of assets?
Generally, assets are divided equally unless the parties’ needs dictate that one party should have a greater share in all the circumstances, particularly the care of young children. There is a starting point of an equal division of assets.
Assets acquired pre-marriage, and after separation, non-mingled gifts and inheritances may be disregarded, again, depending on all the circumstances of the case.
What factors will the Royal Court consider?
The Matrimonial Causes (Jersey) Law 1949 stipulates that the Royal Court must exercise its powers to make financial orders:
“having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the conduct of the parties to the marriage insofar as it would be inequitable to disregard it and to their actual and potential financial circumstances”.
Does the Royal Court favour a clean break when making a financial award?
A clean break is preferable wherever possible. However, this will depend on several factors such as the earning power of the spouse, children etc. It is common for maintenance to be awarded for a fixed period, to enable a party to re-train, or while children are very young. Maintenance will generally be capitalised where possible.
Can the Royal Court order that I disclose information about trusts that I may be a beneficiary of?
Where there are trusts, the Royal Court has the power to order disclosure of information if it suspects that one party is hiding behind the trust. Whether an application is successful depends on numerous factors specific to the case in question.
Will the Royal Court disregard my business when deciding how much my spouse should receive in our divorce settlement?
The Royal Court will have jurisdiction to consider the value and income concerning your business when considering a financial settlement. Where possible, they will try not to interfere with the running of the business but will do so if it is a material asset.
What is the procedure?
To be completed…
Parslows experienced family law solicitors will provide you with the specialist legal representation you need to ensure you get the best possible result in the divorce and financial arrangements. Our family law solicitors have worked with business owners, families with significant wealth, high earners, and their spouses to reach a favourable outcome in each of their divorces. Our highly experienced family law solicitors are here to help and support you with any issue you may face.
With our legal assistance, we will aim to secure a settlement out of court, but if you do have to go to the Royal Court, you can be sure you will have the best divorce lawyers on your side.