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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35087
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am in the process of divorcing my wife after 23 years of

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I am in the process of divorcing my wife after 23 years of marriage, on grounds of her desertion. I have two dependent children. While I am "happy" to split the residual value of the family home (£480,000) and my pension (£400,000) does she have a right to half of the 37% I own in my family business (other shareholders being my Mother, father, brother, sister)? Were all shareholders willing to sell the business might be worth about £1 million; if they were not is my minority share effectively worthless? If a value is put on it, and I am supposed to buy her out, how do I do that when I have no other cash/assets? And given that my pension was non-contributory, is it in fact a matrimonial asset?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Under what circumstances could a sale be forced?
how did you acquire your shares?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Might not the court think there is a disparity in assets, and I must (somehow) give her half the value of my shares? Thats where I'm coming from with the forced sale thought.


The shares were given to me by my father - I have worked in the company since 1979 - at some point he decided he should share them out among myself sister and brother, as well as he and my mother continuing to hold some. What I can't recall is whether this redistribution preceded my marriage in 1988 or not.


I would be very grateful if you could send any further replies/questions to my own email, [email protected] the other wone is he work one & I don't really want everyone knowing about this kind of thing.



And on what basis COULD a sale be forced?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You are asking me on what basis could a sale be forced. Why? I have not raised that question, and even if I have by implication, should not the answer come from you? What I am asking is (a) does she have a right to half the shares I own; if yes where would the money come from to buy her out, given that (i) I don;t have any and (ii) minority shareholdings in private companies are illiquid and (b) given that my pension is non-contributory - small companies dump surplus cash in pension schemes for tax reasons mainly - is that a matrimonial asset which she is entitled to half of?


Or is your point rhetorical, that there is no basis on which a sale could be forced?


May I ask again that alerts about your reply are sent to my private email, [email protected]


It is relevant to the question I am afraid
The fact is that your interest in the business DOES form part of the Matrimonial assets which will be considered by the Court and could well lead to your ex receiving a larger share of the equity in the Matrimonial Home
How much larger that share would be depends on what value is placed on your interest in the business.
The mechanics which could trigger a sale of the business/shares should be set out in the Company documentation - hence the query
However the fact that they are not easily saleable - and were a gift from your father - will contribute towards a substantial discounting of whatever their value is
I am afraid that the Pension is undoubtedly a matrimonial asset and there is little doubt that it will simply be shared between you
I shall ask customer services to deal with the email issue for you
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you