"With cohabitating couples fast becoming the most common type of family arrangement this is now a very common occurrence. It is also a common occurrence for a family member or parent to have helped that party onto the property ladder with financial support. Clarity on whether that support is a loan or a gift is vital."
Writing in ThoughtLeaders4 HNW Divorce's special Valentine's edition, partner James Carroll and associate Harriet Collins discuss what happens to gifts when a couple separates, and what can be done to protect them in the first place.
They explain how the courts will usually treat gifts given during the course of a marriage or relationship, and recommend parties document high-value gifts that they would like to retain if the relationship ever came to an end. Given that couples are increasingly opting to cohabit, property ownership can be a bone of contention if a party received support from their parents. Documenting everything in this way can help avoid the loan vs gift debate, which can unnecessarily complicate matters.
The full article is available to read online for members of ThoughtLeaders4 HNW Divorce, and may be read in pdf format.
James is a partner in the family team. He specialises in the financial and other consequences of relationship formation or breakdown. He is an expert in complex financial cases, including those involving businesses and trust/tax structures.
Harriet is an associate in the family team. She advises clients on a broad range of family matters. This includes divorce and separation, financial settlements, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation disputes. She also advises on matters involving children and Family Law Act injunctions.