When you are splitting up, whether this ends in divorce, dissolution or separation, it is important that you consider what is going to happen to the family home and finances. This is because even if you end your marriage or enter into a Separation Agreement, the claims that either of you have in relation to these financial issues remain ‘live’ until such time as a financial settlement is dealt with by obtaining a court order. This means your spouse could be entitled to seek money or property from you some time after divorce, and this is something you should wish to protect against.
If you are divorcing or separating, you do not need a solicitor to reach an agreement on the finances, although, you may want advice as to whether it is fair and it protects both your interests, in particular if you have children. It is important that you consider having this agreement made into a court order, applied for you both jointly. This will achieve a clean break to prevent further financial claims by either of you in the future. This is called a Consent Order. This type of order is very common and is much used to protect your interests. The Consent Order is usually obtained from the court without a hearing.
Ward & Rider Solicitors can give you a clear estimate of the cost of this service. These will be additional to your divorce or dissolution.
You may not wish to divorce right now, perhaps because you are not ready, or you are waiting for 2 years separation as the grounds for your divorce (see divorce or dissolution of civil partnership). In this case we strongly advise entering into a Deed of Separation or Separation Agreement and we can guide you through this and prepare this for you.
A Separation Agreement is not binding like a court order. However, if it is formally prepared with knowledge of each other’s finances, and with legal advice, it is most likely to be upheld if, upon future divorce, you want a consent order upon the same agreed terms.
Financial proceedings can sound daunting and expensive, but we give you a clear and concise estimate at each stage of the procedure and court hearings, including providing you with information on the fees of a barrister or other expert if this becomes necessary.
It may be the case that the two of you cannot agree a settlement or you are at odds with what you both want from your divorce. We can discuss the finances overall with you and give clear expert advice and representation on the law in this area. We can obtain for you the values of your property, savings and pensions. We would also negotiate a settlement for you. This will take into account your needs for housing, and preserve your income and pensions. We can also help with how to apportion savings and account for debts. Following this financial disclosure, we can often agree and obtain a Consent Order for you.
If advised by us you may issue or you may become involved in financial proceedings in addition to the divorce proceedings in court. This may be because you cannot settle your financial dispute and therefore you need the court to ultimately determine the outcome.
Financial proceedings are very often concluded by settlement without the need for the case to proceed to a fully contested final hearing.
Throughout this process, Ward & Rider Solicitors will aim to achieve the settlement or your desired outcome in the most cost efficient way for you. We will provide you with a clear price estimate initially and update this throughout your case.
Our team at Ward & Rider include Resolution members and a Law Society accredited family law specialist.