Estate agency sets up divorce division aimed at wealthy splitters

8 May 2018, The Telegraph

London has become a popular place for the wealth to divorce Credit: Peter MacDiarmid

By Rhiannon Curry

Estate agency Black Brick has launched a specialist service to cater for divorcing couples as an increasing number of the super-rich seek to untie the knot in London.

The company, which specialises in buying homes rather than selling them, set up the new team to give people advice on how much a new home would cost, enabling them to approach a judge with an accurate figure for divorce settlement purposes.

It also advises clients on what it costs to run a home in a particular area so they can use the information as part of a claim against their spouse, and finds short-term accommodation for those going through the divorce process.

London has become increasingly popular location for those looking to instigate divorce proceedings because of the more generous terms that can be negotiated for the financially weaker spouse. Unlike in other countries, property owned before the marriage and wealth that has been inherited can be included in a potential settlement, resulting in higher payouts.

Black Brick said such is the demand from wealthy individuals looking to value properties for the purposes of a divorce that the new division is needed to provide information to courts. In 2017, around 10pc of the transactions conducted by Black Brick were for people getting divorced.

Meanwhile, Swiss private bank Julius Baer has also begun offering a service that allows clients can borrow money in order to fund a divorce process if their cash is tied up in jointly-owned assets such as property.

Last year, the former wife of an oil and gas trader was awarded £453m in one of the largest divorce settlements ever agreed by a UK court

She said she needed £39.3m to purchase a home in England as a result of the marriage breakdown, as well as £27.9m to buy a property abroad. She claimed she needed £5.4m a year to live on. 

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