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Martin v Martin 2018 - the business and assets in their divorce

View profile for Melanie Loxley
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The case of Martin v Martin 2018, which was reported at the beginning of this year, gave some helpful tips on how the court approaches cases involving wealth that is tied up in a business and also wealth that partially pre-dates the marriage.

The Court of Appeal decided that whilst Mr Justice Mostyn had, at first instance, largely ignored the expert evidence on the value of the business, his “straight line” approach to valuing the business was not contrary to the advice of the expert, and was accepted by the Appeal Court as a reasonable method of quantifying the value of the business that was generated during the marriage.

The Court of Appeal did not, however, feel it was appropriate for Mostyn J to have divided the assets between the parties in such a way that gave no weight to how risk laden those assets were. The award for the husband was almost entirely tied up in the business, whereas the wife’s award was mainly made up of cash or “copper bottomed” assets; clearly such an approach cannot be right.

Whilst Martin v Martin was a massive money case, the guidance given by the Court of Appeal can equally be applied to more modest money cases. If you have a business and are concerned how this will be approached when resolving your divorce, or if you are concerned whether the assets you brought to the marriage will entitle you to a greater settlement than your spouse, please contact one of our divorce and separation specialists for a free, no obligation 15 minute chat.

I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217384 or mel.loxley@birkettlong.co.uk.

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