Ex-Wife Fighting Over Concealed Family Fortune
In a UK case which illustrates how divorcing partners might conceal assets, a divorcee has re-opened a lengthy legal battle with her banker ex-husband, claiming he concealed his £1m (approximately $1.3M USD) family fortune.
53-year-old Tina Norman and her ex-husband, Robert Ellis Norman, first met while attending Southampton University in the 1980s. The two were married in 1993 and separated in 2002 after having two children together. The couple divorced in 2005.
Ex-Wife Fighting for Greater Payout
Mrs. Norman received the family home in the divorce and initially settled for a lump sum payment from her ex-husband instead of monthly maintenance. But she now says that he concealed a large portion of his family portion, including assets which are allegedly worth £300,000 (nearly $400,000 USD).
The judge has allowed Mrs. Norman to pursue the case given that there had been a “level of dishonesty” found against her ex-husband previously.
Such dishonesty or non-disclosure affects settlements for divorcing couples here in the USA too.
Protect Your Assets with a Prenuptial Agreement
A growing number of couples are entering into prenuptial agreements to avoid nightmarish legal battles like that which Mrs. Norman is facing. There are a number of benefits that come with having a prenuptial agreement:
- Couples can discuss important issues before marriage
- Couples can protect their separate property and assets while also defining what is and what is not marital or communal property
- Ground rules and procedures for how to decide future matters can be established
- Special arrangements can be made
- Both parties can support their separate estate plans
In the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement makes what is already an emotional and stressful situation easier to cope with. Because many, if not all, financial matters have already been addressed through the agreement, the length and the expense of a divorce will also be reduced.
When a Prenuptial Agreement May Not Be Right
If one or both parties do not feel comfortable discussing property and finances, then it may not be time to ask for a prenuptial agreement. Both parties must be able to confront many of the issues they will face during a marriage, including debt responsibility, property rights, and money management.
Are You Considering a Prenuptial Agreement?
Whitmarsh Family Law, PC meets with couples regularly to discuss whether they are good candidates for a prenuptial agreement and how to go about creating a legally sound arrangement.
To learn more about prenuptial agreements and whether it is a good option for your situation, we welcome you to give our family law team a call at (310) 552-3505.