Special Contribution On Divorce: How To Get A Bigger Share Of The Assets

What has Special Contribution on Divorce got to do with football?

We've been known to get a bit obsessed about football here at Just Family Law. But what has football got to do with Special Contribution On Divorce you may ask? The answer is it’s very important indeed. This is because it raises a vital question. And that’s not whether the England team is a “work in progress”.

Special Contribution On Divorce: How To Get A Bigger Share Of The Assets

I expect your days are busy with work or raising a family. Or perhaps both. But did you know that some people say their contribution to family life goes well beyond the everyday. They say they’ve made a special contribution to the family finances because they are uniquely gifted. In family law circles we call this a “stellar contribution”. And it’s important as it means a bigger share of the finances on divorce.

But what has this got to do with football?

Ryan Giggs’s marriage has sadly broken down. His lawyers are already saying he made a stellar contribution and he’s claiming a greater share of the finances.

Special Contribution On Divorce: Is It Just Plain Wrong?

Some say it’s unfair as marriage should be equal. And that it devalues homemaking and childrearing.

The case of Randy Work and Mandy Gray is a prime example. Their marriage lasted for eighteen years and they had two children. Randy worked for Lone Star in Japan. Mandy relocated to be with him. But their marriage failed after they returned to the UK. He said he wanted sixty one percent of the family’s wealth because he had created it. He claimed he was a very special individual.

Special Contribution On Divorce: Is It Discriminatory?

There was indeed a multimillion family pot for division, earned mostly by Randy Work. Mandy Gray argued the whole concept of special contribution was discriminatory. She said her contribution had been to make a home for the family. Homemaking and childrearing are not, of course, jobs that are paid.

But how are assets usually split on divorce? The starting point is equal division although there are special considerations. These include the care of children, the extent of the couple’s wages and their earning capacity. Also their standard of living during the marriage, and their ages. The length of the marriage is important, too. As is their health. Lastly what the couple put into the marriage financially, and their individual financial needs.

Had Randy Work Made A Special Contribution On Divorce?

The Court of Appeal said Randy Work’s contribution wasn’t all that special. It did not arise from his “exceptional and individual quality”. He was, basically, an employee, even if an extremely highly paid employee. He received only a half share of the assets.

The Court of Appeal said the concept of special contribution, in other words, of stellar contribution, only rarely applies.

Did Ryan Giggs Make A Special Contribution, A “Stellar Contribution”? Is It Enough To Be A Footballing Legend?

Ryan and Stacey Giggs married in 2007 and have two children. Does he have an “exceptional and individual quality?” His lawyers say his career has been like no other.

The stats say it all. Over 1,000 competitive senior appearances. 13 league titles. Four FA Cup winner’s medals. Three League Cup winner’s medals. Two UEFA Champions League winner’s medals.

Giggs was loyal to one club throughout his career, namely Manchester United. His legend status grew from his debut goal in the Manchester derby of 1991. But it was only set to increase with his career defining goal at Villa Park in the FA Cup semi final against Arsenal in 1999. This outstanding success lead to the treble of that year. And then there was his supreme class in defeating Juventus in the 2003 Champions League campaign. Not to mention his stunning destruction of City in the 2009 derby.

Did Ryan Gigs Make A Special Contribution, A “Stellar Contribution”, Or Was He Simply In The Right Place At the Right Time?

But there’s something everyone needs to remember. Ryan Giggs was employed from the age of fourteen by Manchester United, and was part of the exceptional Class of ’92. Was he simply in the right place at the right time?

The Court has to decide whether Ryan Giggs is truly a genius, and deserves to be compensated for his stellar contribution. Or was he simply a highly paid employee of an extremely successful football team?

And so the debate goes on.

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? What do you think?

Contact Joanne Houston of Just Family Law on 01962 217640 forFREE telephone consultation on any family law issue

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions.

Visit our website just-family-law.com

The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog might have application to you, you should seek expert legal advice.

image credit: Ryan Giggs and Federico Macheda of Manchester United wait to kick off against the MLS All Stars, July 2010 by Allison Pasciuto on Wikimedia Commons





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How To Protect Business On Divorce – Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Ltd Co


How To Protect Business On Divorce

    How To Protect Business On Divorce

A client came to see us here at Just Family Law the other day. Let’s call him Ted. He and his wife were fine, he assured me. But he wanted to know what would happen to his business if they split up. “Would she get her hands on it?” They both enjoyed the highlife: holidays in Florida, villa in Spain. But it was all down to him, wasn’t it. There was no way she was getting a share.

“It all depends,” I said.

    Is The Business Shared Out On Divorce?

I told him his wife, let’s call her Sheila, wouldn’t automatically get a share of the business on divorce. Or rather I should say “his” business, as he was keen to remind me. But there were questions I needed to ask him first. Was it a partnership? A limited company? “No,” said Ted, “I’m a sole proprietor. Like I said, it’s my business.”

It was doing brilliantly, he told me, never better.

“So what is your business?” I asked him. “IT,” he said. He is responsible for the IT systems of a number of large businesses. One’s even a household name. He has an office full of “youngsters”, or so he calls them. They run the help desk. “Does Sheila have a role in the business?” I asked. No, she stays at home and spends the money.

Each morning brings a van load of online purchases to their front door.

    Business Valuations On Divorce

I advised him Sheila would want the business valued if it had assets. Valuations can be controversial and expensive. Maybe his company accountant could provide a valuation? Sheila might agree it. But if she didn’t, she would want a forensic accountant involved. Ideally they would jointly instruct one.

If it had a significant value Sheila could receive a larger share of other assets. Such as the savings or the family home. This would compensate her. And she’d have a hefty claim for maintenance too.

That’s if Ted’s eye watering boasts of his income were to be believed.

    Dealing With A Family Business On Divorce

He told me he had one final question. What difference would it make if he merged his business? A company was sniffing around. The managing director was planning his retirement. He’d promised Ted a shed load of shares. And a role for Sheila, too. And she reckoned she could make an even better job of running the business than Ted.

I advised Ted this could change everything. If the two of them ran it together she might want a share of it if they divorced. This applied to a limited company or to a partnership. But what would happen if the business couldn’t be split? The options were for one or the other to buy the other out. Or they could sell the business. They would need a valuation.

I reminded him about capital gains tax. 
The full tax implications should be considered if they decided to sell.

Ted wasn’t happy.

I told him maybe it wasn’t that bad. Perhaps he should consider a postnuptial agreement. He and Sheila could decide how all their assets should be split. And this could include their business assets and income. Collaborative law could help if they had trouble agreeing.

He said he liked the sound of that and would have a word with Sheila.

    How To Protect Business On Divorce

Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial free of charge consultation on the question How To Protect Business On Divorce. In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family lawyers. We offer Pay as you go costs. We offer Collaborative law solutions tailored to your family’s needs.

The topics covered in this blog post How To Protect Business On Divorce are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.

Image by Pierre Dalous on Wikimedia Commons

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