Donation to finance divorce question

My son divorcing from his parasitic narcissistic irresponsible adulterous wife - at her behest. She no money or has hidden it. He since lost job not worked, still some savings but not of amount that could provide for long. 1 child, custody shared we hope. Only resource anyone (dil, lawyers and probably when comes up, Court) can see - my property and money. She is after get hands on my son's future inheritance whenever, trying to get it now... There is 20X more to explain whole situation but I'm only asking one thing.

Our strategy, pay her off with £££ settlement, financed by me, condition she to renounce future claims when son's circumstances change by inheritance or otherwise. Aka clean break. My only question here: I transfer money to son, that's a substantial amount subject to IHT if I don't last 7 yr. Pity to be taxed, even PET taxable, on money you have never seen! That just went in then out. (I suppose it is a bit like house buying where money held in a solicitor's account till she satisfied conditions for handing over satisfied?)

I wondered if there was a legal way to pay directly that this amount I've kissed goodbye to, such that isn't part of my estate. A solicitor I talked to said thought there was no way really - it is part of son's settlement and has to be accounted properly. Though he is not a fiscal expert. But that is logical I admit.

I wonder if there is any well known legal way round in effecting thus transfer?  I know no one can 'give advice' but is there any well known  ( legal and aboveboard) way?

Sorry my posts so long - not time write shorter ones.


  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    edited 13 April 2021 at 2:01AM
    I don't think there is any way that a solicitor will except the cash settlement directly from you, even if your son gives you power of attorney to deal with it on his behalf the solicitor would still need the money to come from him. Alternatively is there any chance that she will remarry, and therefore bar herself from any future claim? Even if she were to remain single, there's no guarantee that a future claim would be successful.
  • Ted_Bloke
    Ted_Bloke Posts: 24,868 Forumite
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    Thx all. As I said there is much more to it. However it is not my divorce so limited how much I say about it, and question limited to the technical point which pp has answered.

    I know she has no claim on me. She is furious I have not yet gifted to son or both my house they live in so it would have been half hers i.e. she would have a legal chance to kick him out of 'matrimonial home' or force him to downsize liberating loolah for her. Divorcing she will no way let this go and would try either court make order that when son's fortunes change through inheritance or otherwise she has claim on it, or anyway she can bring claim at any time future when this happens. Our idea in order to free our son to inherit and to get on with his life was make a sufficiently attractive offer take money and run on condition she sign financial consent order or whatever it's called guaranteeing she won't come back on this even after son inherits.

    Better not say more except that my earlier thread on solicitors' ethics (can't manage to link to) was not unconnected.

    Sorry my posts so long - not time write shorter ones.
  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,903 Forumite
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    There always is more behind these things, but my comments stay the same. Pay for you son to have a good family lawyer.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    edited 16 April 2021 at 2:54PM
    I think the best option would be for your son to call her bluff and petition the court for financial remedy as part of the divorce, at the time the court make a financial order they can also direct that the wife file her own financial remedy petition for dismissal purposes only.
  • I would absolutely love to hear the other side of this story. 
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,199 Forumite
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    The divorce is between your son and his wife. The Court has no power to give her any of *your* assets. 
    A standard financial order would include clean break provisions to prevent her coming back and trying to claim against him if you give him money or assets in future, or if he inherits.

    So it makes no sense to give her any now.

    The exceptions would be if there is evidence that some of the assets are actually son's already - so instance if he gifted or transferred assets to you to hide them from her.

    That being the case, you might wish to lend your son a small amount to encourage her to settle (for instance, a lump sum large enough to cover deposit and 6 months rent to enable her to get back on her feet) 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • sassyblue
    sassyblue Posts: 3,783 Forumite
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    edited 26 April 2021 at 2:01PM
    The consent order provides the clean break and will stop her claiming in the future. 

    The only thing she potentially could do would be to make a claim against your son's Estate if he died AFTER he’d inherited from you and IF he failed to provide for their child in any Will. 

    It’s easy to work round the implications of that now you are aware.

    Happy moneysaving all.
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