Directors’ Guide to Divorce - Company Directors Advised to Use pre-nups to Protect Business Assets After Supreme Court Ruling

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Fiona Craig, matrimonial expert at Beswicks Solicitors has launched a Directors' Guide to Divorce, for entrepreneurs who wish to protect their business assets in the case of relationship breakdown. As the Supreme Court upholds the multi-million pre-nuptial agreement in the case of Radmacher v Grantino today, this is good news for business men and women who wish to take steps to keep their business empire intact.

According to Fiona Craig, “A couple ought to be able to make their own arrangements at the outset as to what should happen if their marriage breaks down. Today’s Supreme Court decision in the Radmacher case bolsters that view"

Directors’ Guide to Divorce Launched Company directors advised to use pre-nups to protect business assets in light of Supreme Court ruling on Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino (2010) UKSC 42.

Divorce can have a serious impact on a business or partnership, as one director or partner can find themselves having to find the finances to provide a capital settlement and ongoing income to their ex-spouse.

Celebrity divorces often hit the headlines and there is a great deal of hype around the subject of who gets what in the distribution of wealth. However, the same issues are also of concern to business men and women who worry about whether a divorce is likely to destroy a business that may have taken many years to build.

Fiona Craig, matrimonial partner at Beswicks Solicitors has launched A Director’s Guide to Divorce.

“The family law team at Beswicks Solicitors often see company directors or business partners who have toiled for many years to create a valuable business and who worry about the effect of divorce on their business circumstances as well as their family,” says Fiona Craig.

The guide, which is in a straight-talking question and answer format addresses many of the questions that the Beswicks matrimonial team regularly face from directors, for example:

  • Will getting divorced destroy my business?
  • What will it cost me?
  • Will my divorce have an impact on fellow directors?
  • What will happen to my pension?
  • What steps can I take to protect business assets?
  • Are overseas assets taken into account?
  • What not to do when getting divorced.

A pre-nuptial agreement will be viewed by the courts as an important indication as to what was in a couple’s minds when they married and is likely to influence their decision. The more detailed the agreement is, the more weight the court will place on it and if it is properly set out and fair, then it is more likely to be held binding.

Before entering into the agreement, a couple will have had to disclose their assets fully, and have each taken independent legal advice. They need to set out, not only that they both want to enter into the agreement, but why; for example protecting an inheritance or business interests or to cover the future needs of adult children.

According to Fiona Craig, “In recent years there has been a growing feeling that a couple ought to be able to make their own arrangements at the outset as to what should happen if their marriage breaks down."

Today’s Supreme Court decision in the Radmacher case bolsters that view, by upholding Ms Radmacher’s pre-nuptial agreement.

“This does not represent a change in the law, because ultimately the Court retains the power to ignore a pre-nuptial agreement where necessary to protect vulnerable parties and to ensure overall fairness. However it does mean that in future divorcing couples who have signed a properly drafted, carefully thought pre-nuptial agreement can be much more confident that the agreement will be upheld, providing comfort for entrepreneurs who seek protection for their business assets.”

Click here to request a copy of A Director’s Guide to Divorce

Email Alison.thompson(at)beswicks(dot)com to obtain a high-resolution photograph of Fiona Craig.

For further information, please contact Fiona Craig, Alison Thompson or Sue Bramall on 01782 205 000.

Notes to editors:

Fiona Craig is a matrimonial partner with Beswicks Solicitors. She is a highly regarded family lawyer who has specialised in divorce and relationship breakdown for over 15 years. Recognised for her abilities in handling cases involving significant financial assets, she has acted for many high net worth individuals in business, the sports world and the public sector.

Beswicks Solicitors is one of the leading law firms in the Midlands, recognised in independent guides such as the Legal 500. Based in North-Staffordshire with 100 staff, they provide a full range of commercial and private client legal advice to entrepreneurs across the region in relation to their business interests and private lives.

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Sue Bramall

Alison Thompson

01782 205 000
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