FINANCES ON DIVORCE
Eddowes Perry & Osbourne provide advice on all financial aspects of divorce and can assist you in reaching a settlement with your former spouse.
Securing a financial settlement on divorce can be one of the foremost concerns of separating couples. A properly considered and agreed financial settlement can secure a new life with all the hope and energy that brings allowing a former spouse to move forward.
There are a number of ways that a financial settlement can be finalised on divorce:
AGREEMENT OR CONSENT ORDER
The first is for the couple to agree between themselves on how they wish to divide their assets. This is always the best way and providing you can reach a fair settlement, all that is usually needed is for the settlement to be made legally binding in the form of a consent order approved by the court.
A family lawyer will need to draw up the agreement (known as a consent order) and follow a formal process to seek the court’s approval. It is vital the agreement is professionally drafted so it is binding on both parties. There would be nothing worse than either party seeking to set aside or vary the agreement later due to problems that could have been easily foreseen and overcome by following the correct process.
In the throes of separation, it should be remembered that the agreement may not always be forthcoming at the start of your divorce journey. There is usually a period of negotiation which for some may bring about wrangling, tension or even hostility. A family lawyer can not only diffuse tensions and help focus on the central issues of disagreement but also offer support and guidance during emotional instability. This is particularly true where one spouse believes they are being unfairly treated by their former partner in the offers made or where one partner is particularly dominant over the other. We recommend you level the playing field by instructing a solicitor. We are experienced in ensuring your best interests are preserved and we can assure you nothing gets past our expert eyes.
APPLICATION TO COURT
Sometimes it is not always possible to agree on a full financial settlement between couples even with the help of family lawyers. You may be agreed on some aspects but not all, for example, you may agree on how to divide the home but not pensions or what should happen to a family business or, whether maintenance payments should be paid (including how much and for how long).
In these circumstances, you can apply to the court to ask a judge to look at the details of your case who will then decide for you. Examples of a financial order could be:
- The level of a lump sum payment or capital division of the net sale proceeds from the sale of your home
- Who retains ownership of a property?
- Whether regular child (for the benefit of the children) or spousal (for the benefit of the spouse) maintenance payments are paid, for how long and at what level;
- Whether pensions should be shared and at what percentage;
- Whether pensions should take into consideration payments made before you married or after you separated;
- Whether pensions should be offset – meaning whether one party should have a greater share of the other assets in return for giving up pension sharing;
- How family and personal possessions or even the family pet should be shared.
Going to court to finalise a financial settlement is often the last resort because it can be more costly and time-consuming.
We can advise as to costs including coming to an arrangement with you to pay our costs from a final settlement or, in some cases, utilising a specialist litigation funding provider which ensures our costs are met while your case is ongoing but where you only pay the loan back at the end of your case.
HOW ARE CASES DECIDED IN COURT
When deciding cases the court will consider all aspects of your particular family situation, giving particular concern to:
- the welfare of any children;
- the income and earning potential of each person including each parties financial obligations;
- the standard of living of the parties;
- the conduct of the parties (only in exceptional circumstances);
- any future inheritance or entitlements;
- any pension entitlements
Underpinning every financial settlement, whether agreed or determined following an application to the court. It is important to remember that, from the start, you and your partner have a duty to each other to fully disclose all details of your financial circumstances, even if considered trivial or even where your spouse may not have been invoiced in acquiring the asset, including business interests or property acquired via inheritance.
Further advice about the specific court process will be given if this is deemed the right course of action for you.
In safe hands
I can’t thank David Smith enough for the way in which he handled my divorce. His friendly and approachable manner was much appreciated, throughout what was inevitably a difficult and emotional time. He also fought my corner with tenacity, leading to a fabulous financial settlement. At a time of such uncertainty, it is reassuring to know that you are in safe hands……I would not hesitate to recommend David to anyone going through the same experience.
Great, clear advice delivered in a personable manner
David’s advice was critical in resolving a complex family matter. Without his involvement, the case would have stalled. He helped me to understand the legalities of the situation and provided direction in what I found to be a highly confusing situation. Great, clear advice delivered in a personable manner.
Nothing was too much for him
David really made me at ease and helped me through the whole process. Nothing was too much for him and he always made time for me.
Huge thank you to David
Huge thank you to David for making a horrible stage of my life, going through a hostile divorce a whole lot more bearable. Don’t know how I would have got through it without you.