Will I have to go to court over my financial dispute?
Courts only become involved in the division of divorce finances if they receive an application for a financial order. Therefore, court action is only necessary if negotiations outside court have completely broken down and and agreed financial settlement cannot be reached.
Reaching a financial agreement outside court enables both parties to save on legal fees and also obviates time consuming court action. However, to ensure that your interests are properly safeguarded, it is essential that if you have not used an expert divorce solicitor to help you negotiate the financial agreement with your ex-spouse, you should make sure you get specialist legal advice on any agreement – and that you have any agreement properly recorded in a consent order because otherwise there is a real risk that later down the line, your unsatisfied ex-partner could return to the court to seek amendments to the agreement.
Will our financial assets be divided 50/50?
Whilst assets are divided 50/50 in many cases, this is by no means a blanket rule. Marriages which lasted a long time will often result in an equal division of divorce finances because the relevant spousal contributions are thought to even out. Contributions in the home are thought to be important as well as the cash contributed by the breadwinner.
Whilst financially independent parties with similar earning potential might well end up splitting a family assets on a simple 50-50 basis, but many marriages, for example, where the marriage itself is only short lived, or which involve small children, or little wealth, are likely to find that a simple, even split of family assets is not the outcome.
Will courts consider a ‘clean break’?
Courts are very receptive to ‘clean break’ order applications, in appropriate circumstances. These dictate that maintenance arrangements are unnecessary and that parties are in agreement as to how to divide divorce finances once and for all. Courts will approve these if they suspect that there are inadequate funds for each party to rebuild their lives. However, they will probably not be appropriate in cases where ongoing maintenance for children is required..
What about a consent order?
A consent order is essentially formal approval by a family court of a financial agreement made between the parties.
Applications to the court for such orders must be very detailed and list all matrimonial assets and liabilities. Why? Because the courts have made it perfectly clear that they’re not simply there to rubber stamp agreements – every family judge will need to make sure that the agreement contained in any consent order is not only fair and reasonable in the circumstances, but also that such agreement has been made on the basis of full and frank financial disclosure by both parties – so that the agreement is made on the basis of a full understanding of both parties individual financial circumstances.
Although an application for a consent order can be drawn up without a solicitor, our firm advice is that you always need specialist legal advice first. Financial settlement after divorce may be one of, if not the, largest financial agreement, you will ever make – you need to make sure you know your rights and exactly what you’re getting under any consent order and exactly what rights you are giving up
Which assets/liabilities will the court need to know about?
Put simply, all of them.
Full disclosure is required, meaning that the following steps should be taken:
• Valuation of all belongings e.g. antiques, cars etc.
• Valuation of savings, pensions and other deposits
• Valuation of any businesses or shares owned
• Find out the surrender values of any endowment policies from the relevant insurers
• Valuation of the equity value of the home. This is calculated by taking the remainder of the mortgage away from the current value of the house
• Calculation of all debts
Need advice on a Financial Settlement After Divorce? Contact us today
It is crucial that you get a fair financial deal from your divorce, so make sure that the solicitor you instruct is an expert. Our divorce solicitors are financial settlement specialists – especially in divorce cases involving complex finances.
Your initial phone call and your first 30 minute appointment are absolutely FREE with no obligation – so wherever you live in England and Wales, and even if you live abroad, call us today on one of the numbers below, or email our team using the contact form below;
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