British expat couple in Tokyo with corporate and inherited assets to be divided on divorce

Including 5 years of premarital cohabitation moving seamlessly into marriage, Adam and Kim had been married for 20 years. There are two children of the marriage aged 19 and 15. The parties’ significant assets fall into three categories – the assets built up during the 20 year marriage including assets used by the family during the marriage, Adam’s inherited assets following his father’s death, and Adam’s corporate assets. Expatriate Law were instructed by Kim.

Adam’s corporate assets are a complex web of interrelated companies and investments schemes. Adam instructs a forensic accountant by sole instruction to attribute a value to those assets. Kim does not accept the findings of Adam’s expert report so, on advice, financial proceedings are initiated in London. Using the court process, an independent forensic accountant’s report is obtained on joint instruction. The jointly instructed expert attributes considerably higher values to Adam’s companies, and establishes that he is able to draw a significant income.

Adam argued that significant amount of the parties’ assets were inherited by him towards the end of the marriage and that this therefore should give rise to an unequal division of the assets in his favour. The inherited assets were valued at circa £3.9m. The court accepts legal argument advanced on Kim’s behalf, namely that inherited assets should be invaded to meet Kim’s needs for a capitalised maintenance award as assessed against the very high standard of living throughout the marriage. The mortgage free matrimonial home (estimated value £3.1M) is transferred into Kim’s sole name, capitalised spousal maintenance is set at £780,000 and ongoing maintenance for the children of the family at the rate of £5,200 per month. Kim is now in a position to sell and downsize from the 5 bedroom matrimonial home to free up additional capital at a time of her choosing.

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