Divorce lawyers called on again as credit crunch hits settlements
The credit crunch has seen many returning to their divorce lawyers as turbulent economic conditions upset the financial circumstances upon which settlements were agreed.
The current financial climate has the ability to dramatically alter fortunes and divorce lawyers are being asked to renegotiate the balance by seeking varied maintenance payments or even a reduced settlement for their clients.
City tycoon's divorce lawyers seeks rebalance
A notable example has been provided by City tycoon Brian Myerson whose divorce lawyer returned to court in an effort to have his £11.2 million payout to his wife reduced.
Mr Myerson’s divorce lawyer argued that a re-evaluation was required due to the plummeting value of the shares in which Mr Myerson’s portion of the couple’s assets are held. The balance of wealth has transformed from 57% to 43% in his favour to -5% to 105% in his wife’s, his divorce lawyer, Martin Pointer, observed.
What a divorce lawyer can do
In the current economic climate there are a range of factors that could eviscerate the value of a settlement and prompt a return to the divorce lawyer including not just share price collapse but a fall in property prices or a reduction of loss of pay.
A divorce lawyer can appeal to have a settlement reconsidered if the basis upon which it was made is no longer valid. In the case of Mr Myerson judges ruled that the conditions had not been met. However, a divorce lawyer can also seek to have maintenance payments varied - a route still left open to Mr Myerson.
"People are bound by court orders that impose legal obligations upon them," warns divorce lawyer Judith Ball of Barlow Robbins LLP on InsideDivorce.com. "If they are unable to honour those commitments they must apply to the court to vary the order otherwise they will fall into arrears which could be enforced against their assets."
It is not just through the courts that a divorce lawyer can assist in assuring a fair and manageable readjustment of a settlement. The options of mediation and collaborative law are available throughout divorce proceedings.
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