Financial Settlements In Divorce

There are a number of ways of reaching a settlement with regard to how marital assets are to be split. One option is mediation (where a neutral third party will offer suggestions for settlement), which can sometimes be the quickest route to achieving a settlement. Another option is for the parties to agree to fully disclose their financial circumstances so that each can receive specific legal advice prior to voluntary negotiations.

In some instances it is necessary to issue court proceedings by way of an application for a financial order, although the court will always encourage the parties to endeavour to reach an agreement and therefore save on costs.

We will advise on the best option for you given your particular circumstances.

The first consideration of the courts will be the welfare of any children and their appropriate accommodation.

Once the parties have disclosed their assets and liabilities, the courts, or the solicitors or mediators negotiating an agreement, will apply these factors to the family assets in order to achieve a fair and reasonable division.

The court has a wide range of powers and can order any of the following :-

  • an order for maintenance pending suit (interim maintenance);

  • a periodical payments order (on-going maintenance);

  • a secured provision order;

  • a lump sum order;

  • a property adjustment order (sale, transfer etc);

  • a pension sharing/attachment order.

In exercising its powers, the court has an obligation to consider whether to bring about a ‘clean break’ between the parties as soon as is reasonably possible.

Recent case law has made significant changes to the approach of the courts when ruling on the division of assets on divorce. In general, 'matrimonial property' (wealth generated during the marriage) may be regarded as warranting an approximately equal division, and “non matrimonial property” (which is brought into the marriage or created independently after it ceases) may be treated differently. Each case will however be decided on its own merits.

It is important to understand that the courts will very rarely take a party’s conduct into account when deciding how to apportion the assets, except in the most extreme circumstances.

We can provide you with a fixed fee for this service so you will know exactly what costs you will need to pay.

This is a complex area of the law and requires expert advice. Please contact us on 0208 974 7490 or to arrange an initial consultation to discuss the best way forward for you and we will provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

Our experienced and understanding team are here to help you. We will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.

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