Matrimonial Financial Settlements – Frequently Asked Questions
Divorcing couples may face stressful decisions when it comes to the division of their financial assets and making financial provisions for any children of the family. It will be in the best interest of all concerned if an amicable solution can be found in respect of the financial aspects of the divorce and it is therefore important that you seek the advice of an experienced Family Law Solicitor who will be able to advise you on your rights and on the best way to find the right solution for you and your family.
In a previous article – Financial Settlements and Divorce – we highlighted some frequently asked questions regarding financial agreements and consent orders. We continue in this blog with some of the other most frequently asked questions about financial settlements relating to the divorce process.
Do you have to go to court to reach a financial settlement?
If you reach an agreement with your soon to be ex, you should record your agreement by way of consent order in order for the settlement you have reached to be legally binding. Your solicitor will be able to negotiate on your behalf and will be able to draft a consent order for filing with the court.
Please be aware that the consent order will need to be filed with the court and will be subject to a Judge’s approval before it can take effect. If the Judge is not convinced that the agreement that you have reached is fair, he/she may ask you to revisit the terms of your agreement.
However, if parties are unable to reach an agreement either between them or with the assistance of solicitors, then the only other way that the finances can be dealt with would be for an application to court.
How is a financial divorce settlement arrived at?
When looking at the financial agreement aspect of the divorce, the courts will assess how any capital should be divided and whether or not income should be shared.
The following factors are likely to be taken into account within the negotiation of a financial settlement:
· How long you have been married
· The financial needs of any children including other factors that may affect their future wellbeing
· The current earnings of each party
· Future potential earning capacity of each party
· Any other assets including pensions
· The standard of living the couple are used to during the marriage
· Financial contributions that each party has made to the marriage
· Non-financial contributions that each party has made during the marriage, such as caring for the children and looking after the home
Who pays for what before a Settlement is Agreed?
Pending the completion final financial settlement and obtaining a consent order from the court, you and your spouse should continue where possible to be responsible for your usual liabilities. However, if you believe your spouse should be paying more or you are not receiving the financial support you should be entitled to, it is possible to make an application to the court for interim maintenance which is known as “Maintenance Pending Suit”.
What is a Maintenance Pending Suit?
A Maintenance Pending Suit (MPS) is interim financial support from your ex-partner that you can apply for, to help you manage while your divorce proceedings are going through. Under section 22 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the court can order one spouse to make regular payments to the other during the time between the date that a petition for divorce was made and the date that the decree absolute is pronounced.
Divorce Financial Settlement Solicitors
We realise that communication between you and your spouse may be strained and you will want help negotiating the terms of your divorce financial settlement. Our team will be able to provide you with practical advice regarding all divorce financial settlement matters, consent orders, ancillary relief proceedings, financial orders, and clean break agreements.
Regardless of the complexity of your situation, at Rose & Rose, our family law team has the experience and expertise to guide you through the most complicated legal issues and are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our clients at all times.