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Divorce advice: the Han and Leia scenario

Han Solo and Princess Leia argument

 Always a feisty pairing, Han Solo and Princess Leia have had their ups and downs over the years: Chewbacca was always hanging around, Han wouldn’t give up the smuggling, and their son Ben turning to the dark side was the final straw. She came into the marriage with considerable wealth – her mother was Senator (and former queen) Padme Amidala of Naboo, who died after childbirth. He was a jobbing space bum, in debt to Jabba the Hut with just one prize asset, the Millennium Falcon. Dividing the assets is going to be tough.  

Financial lesson: Divorce is a huge problem for those with a large, illiquid asset.

  • Han needs to keep hold of the Millennium Falcon to allow him to earn his living, but what if he doesn’t have sufficient liquid assets to pay Leia half the share?
  • This often happens with divorcing couples where one owns a significant stake in a company, usually a company they have set up.
  • If they don’t have enough in assets outside that company to split the value, they have to assign a share to their now-ex spouse.
  • He or she made decide to sell them or just sit on the board and be a pain.
  • Be prepared and seek financial advice if you need to.

Fact: In theory any assets inherited are seen as outside the pot of what was built up jointly during a marriage. Especially if the inherited assets stay in your name only. But it’s not black and white and there are lots of ifs and buts.

  • If assets are available and needed, for instance, to rehouse a spouse after a marriage ends, then even money inherited in the middle of a divorce is up for grabs.
  • The needs of the family, especially where there are young children, will be the overriding consideration. If the only way to meet those needs is by transferring inherited assets to your ex, the Court may order this.

For more information about divorce, have a look at our Distressed Divorced (Di-lighted) Learning Path. We've updated everything we know about preparing for and going through the process.

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