Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

NUPTIAL SETTLEMENTS: Consistency is key

11 August 2017  

Claire Blakemore and Jemma Thomas give the lowdown on trusts and divorce

Establishing whether the court is likely to view the trust as a nuptial settlement capable of variation, or a resource available to the parties, is often a key consideration in a case where there is a mixture of trust and non-trust assets. Answering these questions involves a detailed analysis not just of the trust documents (including the trust deed, trust accounts, any letter of wishes) but also evidence from any relevant party as to how the trust was managed during the marriage. Sometimes it is a gap in the information that can be important in understanding how a trust will be treated; for example if there is an inconsistency between the family’s earned resources and their lifestyle, it may indicate either the trust or its assets are assisting in meeting the family’s expenditure. It is this level of rigorous scrutiny of family finances that the court will expect. Consistency between how the trust is structured and how it is managed is often a key factor when it comes to analysing the impact of trust interests on the division of assets on divorce.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    AF v MF & ors [2016] EWFC 65

    FB v PS [2015] EWHC 2797 (Fam)

    ND v SD & ors [2017] EWHC 1507 (Fam)

    P v P [2015] EWCA Civ 447

    Quan v Bray & ors [2017] EWCA Civ 405

    X v X [2016] EWHC 1995 (Fam)