Angela Moores is an expert in dealing with asset protection situations arising during divorce or relationship breakdowns.
Angela Moores is one of the few female lawyers in the North of England to have Resolution accreditation in Financial Provision level II, dealing with complex financial settlements on divorce. These regularly involve complex business interests, property or share portfolios, pensions and overseas assets. Contact us for more information.
You need legal advice and quickly ie. as soon as you become aware of what is happening. Delay may well affect your ability to gain protection from the court.
The asset in question may be something as simple as the proceeds of an endowment policy or it could be something far more complex like the drawdown proceeds of a pension or company assets. Whatever type of asset, the law which applies is the same.
It may be that an injunction is needed to prevent the asset being disposed of. Injunctions are not available in all circumstances. This is why legal advice is necessary.
Firstly you have to have either issued divorce proceedings in the court or be on the point of issuing before you can bring injunction proceedings.
Secondly you have to prove to the court that if an injunction is not granted to protect the asset from being disposed of, your own financial claim will be prejudiced. In other words, if there are plenty of other assets available in the marriage to meet your financial claims then an injunction may not be granted.
Thirdly the court has to be satisfied that the disposal of the asset is made with the intention to defeat the other partner’s financial claims. If the disposal is entirely proper ie in the normal course of business or sensible conduct then the court may not provide an injunction.
If granted, an injunction should protect the asset pending resolution of financial claims. If proceedings are brought for an injunction which is not granted there may be cost orders made against the Applicant. Legal advice is needed before any such proceedings should be entered into.
It may be possible to make an application to the court without notice to the partner where to provide notice would mean the asset will be disposed of. However once that injunction is obtained the order will be served upon the partner. In certain circumstances it may also be served upon third parties say the bank or the insurance company or pension provider.
In some cases the court has the power to set aside certain transactions so it is still worth obtaining early legal advice.
Orders made relating to who is to pay legal costs are at the discretion of the court so there is no guarantee that you will receive payment of legal costs from your partner. However when considering cost issues much will depend upon the value of the asset involved and the process followed at the time of the injunction proceedings.