Does Britain play fair when it comes to divorce? What do people
think of current divorce proceedings? Should air miles and Bitcoins
be included in divorce settlements?
A nationally representative survey commissioned by Blaser Mills
in conjunction with YouGov has asked British adults whether they
thought spouses are likely to hide their wealth from one another,
if custody of a pet can make or break a settlement and how family
inheritance should be treated when it comes to divorce.
Undercover assets: is hiding how much you are really worth
common in divorce?
The data has revealed that more than one-third (36%) of people
would be prepared to hide assets from their spouse to ensure they
wouldn't have to give them as much during a divorce, if they
knew that they would not get caught. These findings are largely
consistent across the respondents, with 45-54 year olds being most
likely at 44%, whilst 55 and overs are least likely (32%), and no
significant differences between men or women.
63% of respondents were of the opinion that people often hide
the true extent of their savings and assets from their partner
during a divorce, whilst 53% believe that people do so in
anticipation of a divorce.
Keeping it in the family: divorce and inheritance
The data revealed differing views on the treatment of inherited
wealth during divorce. Nearly two-thirds (64%) feel that money
inherited from parents pre-marriage should be strictly off-limits
when it comes to a divorce settlement, but this drops to 39% for
wealth inherited during a marriage. There is also a divergence when
it comes to gender – 71% of women believe money inherited
from parents pre-marriage shouldn't be included compared to
only 56% of men.
Woman's best friend? Pets and divorce
Only 37% of men, compared to 57% of women, would be prepared to
fight over custody of a pet as part of a divorce settlement. The
biggest pet lovers are found to be in Yorkshire and the Humber,
where 54% of respondents would be prepared to fight for custody of
a pet (compared to the North East where this falls to 38%).
Other findings included:
– 55% of people are unaware that today's divorce
settlements include online assets, such as airmiles or virtual
currencies like Bitcoin.
Gifts – Half of respondents think that
gifts given between spouses shouldn't be included within
divorce settlements and around the same percentage (53%) also
believe presents from people outside of the marriage should sit
outside of the wealth pot.
As quoted in The Times, Jolene Hutchison, Head of the
Family and Divorce team remarked:
"These results were consistent across Britain, and
while men are often painted as the villain of the piece when it
comes to financial disclosure, the data revealed that hiding assets
is something both men and women are equally likely to
In addition, Jolene further commented:
"Sadly, when relationships break down, people can be so
intent on punishing their ex, or securing their own financial
future, they do not play fair financially. However, the law isunequivocal: concealing assets is considered contempt of Court
and will result in a significant fine or in extreme cases, a prison
"It is notable that 55% of GB adults don't realise
that online assets are treated exactly the same as those in the
'real world'. Although not a common practice yet, digital
currencies and online wealth do offer a way for unscrupulous
spouses to try and hide wealth less easy to see or
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
A well-meaning friend, relative or even a carer of a deceased person may take what they believe are helpful steps to tidy up a deceased’s affairs in the days following their death to pave the way for those who will carry out the administration of the estate.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).