Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Ex-wife warning for rich divorcees

Wealthy Shropshire men are being warned their finances may not be safe from their ex-wives, even decades after they get divorced.

The warning follows a court case where a millionaire has been ordered to pay his ex-wife over £200,000 – over 30 years after their divorce, and despite the fact she had left him and their three children for someone else.

Nadia Davis, who leads the Family Law Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, said the latest ruling should set alarm bells ringing for wealthy couples.

“It’s clear that despite the ex-wife’s original divorce settlement where she kept the matrimonial home and received nominal maintenance payments, changes in the couple’s circumstances over the next 30 years meant she was entitled to more,” said Nadia.

“The husband continued to prosper and retired with a substantial fortune of between £5 million and £11 million pounds. The wife though made poor decisions and lost much of her money through bad investments.

“But the law says if one partner is receiving maintenance payments, even if they are only nominal, either person has the right to ask the court to replace the payments with a ‘clean break’ lump sum.

“So as the husband had gone on to achieve real financial success, the court ordered him to pay a lump sum to his ex-wife.

“He claims she is trying to get a second bite of the cherry when the whole point of divorce law is to help both partners lead separate lives.

“If The Court of Appeal allows the wife to keep the lump sum, the case may give the green light to many former wives to pursue their spouse for more money, particularly if they have done well financially since the divorce.

“It’s vitally important that husbands receive good advice at the time of their divorce, and heed the warnings that they may face further financial demands in the future, or they could get a nasty shock.”

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Sending a message to bosses

Shropshire companies should not ignore the skills and resources which employees with disabilities may have to offer.
That’s the message from John Mehtam, Employment Law Specialist at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, who said businesses should consider employing staff from all sections of the community.

“The Government has launched a new initiative, ‘Employ Ability’, which aims to encourage companies to employ disabled people and dispel some of the myths.

“They believe that employers may be missing out on talented and motivated staff if they fail to look at disabled workers as a solution to vacancies in their workforce.”

Initially Employ Ability is being piloted in Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool, but will be rolled out nationally in 2008.

“Currently the national employment rate for people with disabilities is 50 per cent compared to 74 percent for non-disabled people, and the initiative is aiming to bring a better balance to the national workforce,” said John.

“Employers may mistakenly believe that adapting the workplace to accommodate an employee with disabilities is expensive, when in fact generally the costs are negligible or cost nothing.

“And the new initiative will also help to improve employers’ access to practical information, making it easier for them to locate relevant support and advice.”

John said it was important to not only help employers recruit more people with disabilities, but also to help them retain staff who may become disabled while they were employed by the company.

“If circumstances like this arise, employers need help to handle the situation carefully and do all they can to prevent the employee having to leave their job unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“Today’s marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive, and for employers who are looking to recruit new staff, people with disabilities should not be ignored.”