Expert Legal Representation for High-Net Worth Families
Divorces involving substantial assets, properties, businesses, and investments, require detailed valuation, categorisation, and division. At McCarthy + Co, our family law team has many years of experience in resolving the complex issues that are frequently associated with these types of divorce cases. We listen empathetically to the details of your case, then work closely with you, aiming to achieve a settlement that meets your target and goals as closely as possible.
Under Ireland’s no-fault divorce system, married partners can divorce without holding their spouse responsible. It’s possible to divorce even if one side is firmly against it. Our team often deal with turbulent scenarios where one or both parties feel they have been wronged in the relationship and are therefore entitled to a better financial settlement. However, courts in Ireland rarely look to apportion blame in the failure of a marriage and instead are focused on ensuring an equitable division of assets alongside provisions for any children.
Whilst we understand the desire to seek redress for any perceived wrongdoing in a marriage, our team always encourages our clients to take a rational, realistic approach to the division of assets, considering the likely outcome should your case need to be decided by a judge in court. We encourage you, where possible, to avoid a lengthy, costly, and emotionally taxing divorce, and to settle out of court as early as possible.
Settling Out of Court
We assist our high-net worth clients in achieving an out of court settlement through:
- Asset Identification – Helping you to identify all assets, including properties, businesses, investments, pensions, and trusts, as well as any hidden assets.
- Asset Valuation – We obtain accurate and up-to-date valuations of all marital assets.
- Debt Assessment – We identify and value all marital debts.
- Financial Expert Consultation – Our team engages experts like forensic accountants, appraisers, or financial planners to ensure comprehensive asset assessment.
- Understanding Tax Implications – We analyse potential tax consequences related to asset division or spousal support.
- Review of Agreements – We interpret and analyse prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
- Assessing Children’s Needs – We assess the financial implications of child support, custody, and educational considerations, where applicable.
- Spousal Support Evaluation – Determining if support is necessary, its amount, and duration.
- Effective Communication – Our team will help establish open and constructive communication between both parties to facilitate agreement.
- Negotiation – We liaise with your spouse’s legal team to help resolve matters quickly and efficiently.
- Drafting the Settlement – We put together the terms of the agreement, ensuring that it is legally enforceable.
No matter what stage of the divorce process you are at, it is highly beneficial to consult with lawyers who have experience in dealing with high-net worth cases. For advice with any aspect of your divorce, you can arrange an initial meeting with us by completing our confidential consultation form.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions we are often asked in relation to divorce & separation.
What is the definition of a high-net worth divorce?
A high-net-worth divorce involves the dissolution of a marriage where one or both parties possess substantial assets or wealth. These divorces can be particularly complex due to the nature and variety of assets involved, such as businesses, real estate, investments, and other valuable property. It requires specialised legal expertise to ensure a fair division of assets, and considerations may extend beyond mere property division to matters like tax implications, trusts, offshore accounts, and other financial intricacies. As a result, high-net-worth divorces can be more contentious and protracted than typical divorces, with both parties seeking to protect their financial interests.
Is it essential to hire a lawyer for these types of divorce cases?
While it's technically possible to proceed without a lawyer in any divorce, in high-net-worth cases, it's strongly advised to engage legal counsel. Given the complexity of assets, potential tax implications, and the myriad financial intricacies involved, having a lawyer can help ensure your interests are adequately represented and protected. Without proper legal guidance, you put yourself at risk of significant financial losses or unfavourable terms in the divorce settlement. Additionally, the other party is likely to have legal representation, which creates a disadvantage when attempting to navigate the process on your own. Hiring a lawyer helps level the playing field and provides you with the expertise you need to navigate the intricacies.
What should I do if I suspect my spouse is hiding some of their wealth?
Both parties in a divorce should be transparent about their financial situations. You have the right to examine your spouse's bank accounts, credit card statements, and other financial details. If you suspect any deceitful behaviour from your partner, our team can assist in acquiring and analysing the relevant information. Our expertise in handling intricate divorce cases, especially those with substantial financial assets, enables us to detect any inconsistencies or dishonesty. Should we identify any lack of transparency, our team will guide you on the next steps to take.
What will happen to the family business?
Family law doesn't strictly mandate a 50/50 split of assets like businesses or investment properties. Each asset and case are assessed individually, with relevant legal principles guiding the likely outcome. For family businesses, it's crucial to ensure their financial viability remains intact. As such, avoiding division is always the preferable route. Practical solutions, coupled with pragmatic advice, are essential for achieving a mutually beneficial resolution.
Clíodhna O’Regan leads the family law department at McCarthy + Co. Clíodhna’s educational background includes studying law and European studies at the University of Limerick, even completing a semester in Madrid where she navigated the complexities of law in Spanish.
Clíodhna can be contacted via email at: email@example.com
About McCarthy + Co
McCarthy + Co. are a team of solicitors with more than 30 years of experience in providing legal advice, guidance and assistance to clients across Ireland.
We are a family-run business with offices in Dublin and Cork, but we have dealt with clients everywhere from Galway and Limerick to Waterford. We are honest, plain-speaking and thorough – we will work alongside you to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Our Awards & Accreditations
We are a multi-award winning firm, accredited by the Law Society of Ireland.
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Flor McCarthy wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.
Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.
John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.