Handbags at dawn!
Or indeed at any other time.
As a junior lawyer, I loved a document briefcase because they are really really useful if you know what you’re doing. I learned this at the start of my first ever high profile case, where I was given a large heavy document briefcase to carry in and out of court, but which appeared to contain nothing that was actually relevant to the trial. When I questioned the partner, she explained with a knowledgeable smile that I’d understand when we got out of the taxi at the Court. Sure enough, we were attacked by the press, and I used my case to batter a pathway to the door. It became known as legal pin ball, and it turns out that I’m really good at it!
Despite my love of a good case (!) I’ve never really felt the same about handbags. They are just not as useful. Many of them are far too small to contain anything of significance and unless you’re going to stick with plain black, you have to keep changing them to match your outfit. Nevertheless, it appears that handbags are becoming more useful, particularly to us solicitors, especially if the handbag is from the likes of Prada or Michael Kores.
My lovely (and very practical) L K Bennett handbag is probably of little financial value, but if I’d bought the same bag from somewhere like Gucci or Prada it would likely be worth more than I paid for it, and if I had a lot of them, then my stash of bags could well be considered to be an asset. I’d certainly be considering insuring them, and if I was married and facing a divorce, my soon to be ex husband’s solicitor may consider them to be family property that should form part of the pot to be split, in the same was as I would be considering laying claim to a share of my hypothetical husband’s Rolex watch. What’s good for the goose and all that.
Of course, much may depend on who bought the bag and why. If I bought it myself, then it’s come out of joint family money (even if it was on my credit card, which I pay for out of my bank account, from money that I earned) but if it was a gift, such as a birthday present from my parents, then I might have an argument for saying that it’s mine personally rather than a family asset, and so wasn’t up for grabs. The bigger (and more valuable) the collection the bigger the argument is going to be, and so the more important evidence (such as Facebook messages thanking people for birthday gifts!) might become.
So if you thought divorces were just about bricks and bank accounts, think again. In this modern consumer age, anything is up for grabs.
If you’re on your way in to a marriage, and you have existing assets that you might want to ring fence, think about getting a pre nup agreement to protect your property and theirs.
If you’re in a marriage and all is good, you can still consider a post nup agreement where you agree that the beautiful jewellery he’s bought you is yours, but you agree that the lovely watch he’s just bought himself is his.
If things aren’t looking so rosy, make sure you take legal advice before you start making any plans about your future as you may be better off or worse off than you think.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Better value than Valentino!