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SFLA.co.uk Solicitor Directory
More Solicitor Information
Name: D'Angibau Willmot Solicitors, In Bournemouth & Poole

Description: Headline cases over the last several years have caused ripples within the legal system and, to some, even waves. Jonathan Harvey sets out below some of the main points a Court will consider when deciding on the division of assets following a marriage breakdown.

Statute sets out a list of factors - the Court considers these first when deciding how the assets should be divided. The usual first consideration is securing where possible suitable accommodation for the children with the parent with whom they will live in the future. The points made below can then be considered, where relevant, if there is more than enough for distribution having first considered these basic factors.

Principles of fairness - these apply whatever the extent of the assets available for a distribution, large or small. However, fairness does not necessarily mean equality which is more likely where there is sufficient capital and income to meet both of the party's needs. If equality is not followed, the Court should state why this is.

Arguments against equality - a husband can successfully argue that his contribution to the marriage by building up a very successful business means that he can have a greater share to take into account an "exceptional" contribution. This may not happen as often as might at first be thought to be the case.

The wife's role - if this is predominantly the bringing up of children and looking after the family home, this contribution to the marriage can be equal even to a successful business built up by the husband.

Assets of a more usual size- rather than give, usually, a husband the smaller balance remaining after the wife has enough to secure suitable housing for herself and their children, it may be possible to argue that the husband's share could be wholly or partially deferred. This could mean that he receives a total share nearer to one half of the assets by the time the children have grown up and do not need a home.

Shorter marriages where assets are substantial - the headline cases which have been reported in the press generally refer to "long" marriages of , say, 20 years or more. The length of the marriage is one of statutory factors to consider referred to in the first point above. "Medium" length marriages (perhaps 10-12 years) may therefore lead to a wife being awarded less. This disparity will be even more marked with a short marriage.

Valuation of businesses - where a business is trading poorly or at a loss, the division of assets should not necessarily provide that the wife receives the secure assets, leaving the husband with an asset which only may improve in the future. Both "copper bottomed" and risk-laden assets could be divided.

The firm is the result of the merger in 1994 of D'Angibau & Malim, Walker Hinds and Willmot & East having been founded originally in 1891. In July 1997 D?Angibau Willmot was granted an Investors in People Award in addition to the "Family Friendly" Award granted by Dorset TEC.

Category: Dorset

Url: http://www.dangibau.co.uk/

Current Rating: 9.00

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