How much will I be entitled to?
The Court will take a number of things into account when deciding the financial outcome of a divorce, including:
• Assets, liabilities and the income of both parties
• The age and health of the respective parties
• How long the marriage lasted
• The respective contributions (to the finances or the home/children for example) of the parties
• The behaviour of the parties
• The needs and standard of living of the parties
• The requirements of any children
The division of assets is unlikely to be equal and it will depend upon the above factors. Given the complexity of deciding financial issues, the valuation of assets must be accurate and parties must properly disclose their finances. Seeking expert legal advice is of crucial importance when dealing with these issues in order to ensure that you receive your fair share.
What if my spouse won’t fully disclose his finances?
Dull financial disclosure is essential, so refusal to disclose is a serious issue. Generally, voluntary financial disclosure will be requested, including all assets, liabilities, pension details, expenses and wages (with documents for proof). However, if your spouse will not comply, you will need to make a formal application to the Court who will then set an enforceable deadline for full disclosure. Form E’s (detailing all finances) must be exchanged by this date otherwise the Court may carry out its own investigations and may penalise the non-compliant party.
How can I support myself in the meantime?
When you are undergoing divorce proceedings it can be difficult to meet the cost of bills and other outgoings. If possible, a level of temporary maintenance should be agreed with the ex-partner however this will not always be agreeable out of court. If so, you could apply to the Court for an interim maintenance order and tax credits may be available to help you. If you have children, the Child Support Agency will often provide maintenance assistance.
Will I have to put my home up for sale?
Deciding what to do with the family home will depend entirely upon the specifics of the case. Two homes must be carved out from one and it can be difficult to accommodate both parties and any children that may be involved. In many cases, parties will sell the home and split the proceeds (however this split may not be 50/50). In some cases it is also possible to wait until the children have left home and then do this.
Alternatively the value of the property can be offset against other assets so that one partner can remain in the home but gives up some of their share to other assets in return. You should speak to a divorce solicitor for advice on these options.
My partner and I were not married. Does that matter?
If you and your partner were not married you will not have the same rights as a married couple, contrary to popular myth. You may find that you legal rights only extend to the family home although in cases involving children, Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 could enable you to decide financial provisions for them.
Am I allowed to change the locks?
Possibly, but your spouse may be entitled to simply change them again. Such action should not be taken without legal advice. If you wish to change the locks out of concern for your safety, you should contact the police or consider trying to obtain a Court Order against your spouse.
Why do I need a solicitor?
Representing yourself may seem cost effective however it is usually a big mistake. Divorce can be highly complicated, especially when it come to dealing with financial issues. Whilst representing yourself may seem to save you money in legal fees, you are likely to miss out on your full financial entitlement, costing you more in the long run.
A good solicitor will be able to find cost effective solutions for your divorce. Establishing a good working relationship with your solicitor is important as they will guide you through the process from start to finish.
Contact our experts for specialist advice on divorce finances
Divorce finances can be tricky to get your head around but if you contact our team of specialist divorce solicitors today they will be able to clarify any points of confusion and get you started on the divorce process.
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