Negotiating agreement in a complex divorce settlement

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

29 November 2023

Edward represented a Wife in financial proceedings brought by the Husband after a long marriage. The parties’ children had all turned 18, and the couple’s principal assets were in properties in the UK and abroad. There were also significant pensions, including some which were already in payment and others whose fund status had changed during proceedings. The former marital home in the UK had planning permission, and a purported offer to develop the land, and the Husband sought to rely on this permission.

Edward’s client, however, sought to keep the UK property herself. Complicated issues of planning and property law (including restrictive covenants, easements and the construction of leases) arose in relation to the UK and issues of jurisdiction, tax liabilities and accounting arose in relation to the international property, which was also run as a business. There were also issues of need and the matrimonial nature of the parties’ debts.

Fully utilising Edward’s expert negotiation skills, the matter concluded by agreement on the second afternoon of the Final Hearing. His client was able to buy out the Husband and retain the UK property, and there would be a sale of the international property by agreement and an equal division of the proceeds. Further, the Wife would make a contribution to the debts identified as matrimonial and there would be equality of pensions and a clean break.

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