Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda recently announced their intention to divorce after 27 years of marriage.
Having reportedly accumulated an extraordinary wealth of $130 billion, it was no surprise that the media response was live with speculation as to how their significant assets would be divided out upon divorce, particularly as it transpired that the couple had not entered into a pre-nupital agreement prior to their marriage.
However, it has since been reported that divorce papers filed by the couple make repeated reference to a “separation contract” which both have signed. It appears therefore that the couple, who share three children as well as business and charitable commitments, wish to have the marriage dissolved and assets divided in as amicable a manner as possible.
Can dividing assets on divorce be handled amicably in Northern Ireland?
Where there are financial issues arising following breakdown of the marriage, it is not necessary to ask the Court to determine how these should be divided. It is very common for parties who wish to avoid the stress and expense of Court proceedings to enter into negotiations with one another through their solicitors with a view to reaching a financial settlement on an agreed and amicable basis. This is known as a Matrimonial Agreement.
If an agreement can be reached, it will be drawn up into a legally binding document to be signed by both parties and often made an Order of the Court upon Divorce.
Increasingly these agreements are made on a “clean break” basis. That means that they set out what each parties’ entitlements are to family finances and provide that neither party will have a claim to the other’s finances in the future.
A solicitor specialising in divorce and separation can provide advice and assistance in negotiating Matrimonial Agreements with a view to reaching financial settlement. If settlement is not possible in this way, either spouse can ask the Court to make decisions about how assets should be divided. This does however tend to be a longer and more expensive process for both parties.
For further information on Matrimonial Agreements, feel free to contact us here
- Bill Gates Divorce: Can finances be divided amicably?Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda recently announced their intention to divorce after 27 years of marriage. Having reportedly accumulated an extraordinary wealth of $130 billion, it was no surprise that the media response was live with speculation as to how their significant assets would be divided out upon divorce, particularly as it … Continue reading Bill Gates Divorce: Can finances be divided amicably?
- Industrial DeafnessDeaf Awareness Week 2021 runs from 4th – 9th May 2021 and aims to promote the positive aspects of living with deafness and raise awareness of organisations that work to support those living with hearing loss and deafness within our communities. To mark the event, we have put together some information on Industrial Deafness and … Continue reading Industrial Deafness
- Social Services & Your ChildrenHaving Social Services become involved in the care of children can leave many parents feeling anxious and fearful. It is therefore important to seek advice on how to avoid legal proceedings when Social Services become involved with your family.
- Top Tips for First Time BuyersSo, you’ve decided that now is the time to take the plunge and set your feet firmly on the property market by buying your first home. Though buying property can be an exciting time for many, it can also be a daunting experience and will be one of the largest financial commitments you will make … Continue reading Top Tips for First Time Buyers
- Having Contact with your GrandchildrenThe bond between a grandparent and their grandchild is often regarded as one of the most precious relationships in life. Grandparents are free of the stresses of parenting and can simply enjoy a fun and loving relationship with their grandchild. Often this relationship can be of great benefit, not only to both grandparent and grandchild … Continue reading Having Contact with your Grandchildren