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Protecting your assets from divorce

Protecting business or pre-marital assets from divorce

The two most stressful financial aspects of a divorce tend to be dividing up the assets and deciding which of you keeps the family home. In particular, if you’ve inherited your home or built up significant assets before your marriage, it may feel unfair to have to split those assets equally in your divorce settlement.

For business owners, divorce means there’s also a company to maintain and protect. However, your soon-to-be-ex partner may feel they’re entitled to claim a share of your business and its earnings. The right legal advice can help you to reach a fair result that safeguards your business without ceding too much of your personal wealth in order to do so.

At Clarke Willmott, we’ve been working since 1888 with business owners and family farms. This has given us an unequalled, in-depth understanding of the problems that can arise when a divorce affects pre-marital assets or business interests.

How we can help you

If you’re concerned about protecting your business or your personal assets before or during a marital break-up, our expert family law solicitors, working as a team with our commercial and agricultural law specialists, can provide the advice you need. Here are some examples of how we can help:

Keeping pre-marital money and property separate

We can advise you on how to ‘ring-fence’ your pre-marital assets, to help to protect them if you divorce.

We can help you identify pre-marital assets and collect evidence that would support your claims if they are challenged in court by your ex-spouse. We can also explain how to stop your pre-marital assets being counted as joint assets in a divorce financial settlement.

Minimising the risk to your business

If you have a share in a family farm, or a business established before your marriage, you’ll need to know how to minimise any claims on it. We can help you to separate your business and marital finances to reduce the chances of your spouse making a successful claim on the business in the future. We can also explore whether there is any benefit in involving your spouse in your business, and if so, the best way to achieve this.

If your marriage has already failed, we can advise you on the best way to meet your spouse’s financial claims while minimising the effect on your farm or business.

Entering into a pre or postnuptial agreement

We can help you set up a prenuptial agreement (or a postnup) to protect your pre-marital financial assets or business interests, or both. We will ensure any agreement clearly sets out exactly what, if anything, your spouse will be entitled to if you do decide to divorce.

Pre and postnuptial agreements are not yet legally binding in England and Wales. However, if they are set up correctly, and both partners have received independent legal advice, they can strongly influence any decisions made by the court about your divorce. The court will treat them as proof that the two of you came to a mutual arrangement about how to split any pre-marital assets and business interests.

Negotiating a fair divorce settlement

Reaching a divorce settlement can be challenging. However, we can help you to come to a mutual agreement with your spouse, that you both believe is fair through mediation or collaborative law, where appropriate. If these options are not appropriate or fail to resolve the situation, we can negotiate on your behalf.

Our family law team is highly experienced in dealing with complicated issues such as pre-marital assets, business interests and pension sharing arrangements. We can also investigate potentially hidden assets and if necessary, appoint experts to help, such as a forensic accountant.

Why clients choose us

  • Specialists in complex financial agreements and divorce settlements
  • Experts in farming and family business matters
  • Firm-wide legal expertise including commercial and agricultural law
  • Highly rated in Legal 500 and Chambers Guide for family law
  • Members of Resolution with collaborative lawyers and mediators on the team
  • Efficient and cost-effective working practices

Contact a divorce family law solicitor

For expert legal advice on protecting assets from divorce, call 0800 422 0123 or contact us online to arrange a confidential initial consultation. Our family law solicitors advise clients nationwide from our offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.

Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
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Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
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Clare Webb


Clare has built her practice with a commitment to helping her clients resolve their issues in a constructive and conciliatory way. In doing so, she will always have regard to the longterm hopes and aspirations for the family as a whole, whilst of course protecting her client’s interest.
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Philippa Yeo


Philippa is committed to helping couples navigate all aspects of the legal process on the breakdown of their relationship in a pragmatic, collaborative and family-focused way including supporting couples to reach arrangements for their children and achieve healthy future co-parenting relationships.
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