In Divorce Proceedings disputes often arise about the ownership of assets. These occur more frequently when there are informal arrangements about family-owned properties or businesses. There may be a need to add other people to financial proceedings such as commercial partners, trustees, or other family members. They can be added as “Interveners” or “Joinders” depending on the circumstances.

Where appropriate, these third parties may need to be separately represented. The court has to decide whether to add or join those third parties, in addition to a Husband and Wife, to make sure they are included them in any divorce proceedings. The court can also remove any third party too.

These situations commonly arise when perhaps a Wife is claiming a share of family business owned by the Husband’s brother is held on trust for the Husband’s benefit, or Wife’s Father says he lent his daughter money to buy the family home and Father wants to be repaid from any sale proceeds, or alternatively Husband asserts that a property owned by Wife’s parents is in fact held on trust for the benefit of Wife.

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These types of cases need to be carefully considered. The court will often want to have a Pre Trial hearing to decide any third-party claims, before resolving the main financial proceedings. There are significant time and costs implications to consider when deciding whether to add a third party so this should be carefully considered at an early stage.

Obtaining clear, high quality legal advice as soon as possible will ensure the correct issues can be identified and appropriate representations made

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