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Financial Settlements during or after divorce
Financial Settlements & Arrangements following Separation
The family law solicitors at PSR Solicitors have a breadth of experience when it comes to helping clients make financial settlements in divorce and the wide-ranging issues that can arise. Every situation is different so it is essential that you take professional advice tailored to your own particular circumstances.
We care about what happens to you so we take a personalised approach to each case, paying close attention to the details to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
People are sometimes surprised to learn that a divorce doesn’t legally put an end to the financial relationship between you and your partner. The financial settlement is a separate legal process.
Your property, savings, investments, and pensions may be divided in a variety of ways provided it is considered to be fair and in line with current legislation. Once you have agreed on a financial settlement, your solicitor will apply for a court order to make that agreement legally binding.
Our experienced divorce solicitors will help you reach a financial settlement with minimal fuss. Get in touch today for a free initial consultation.
What is a Financial Settlement Agreement?
When a marriage breaks down, and a couple decides to get a divorce, the financial aspects are understandably a matter of great concern for most people.
A divorce financial settlement is a mechanism the court uses to deal with separating assets and finances in what is known as a consent order.
It is important to obtain a financial settlement when you separate from your partner because the act of divorce itself doesn’t put an end to the financial relationship between the two of you.
Without a financial settlement, there is the potential for financial claims to be made in the future, even years after your divorce has been finalised. This can be very frustrating, disruptive and expensive.
What is the process for obtaining a Financial Settlement?
Under the law in England and Wales you can choose to work out the financial issues yourselves without involving a lawyer, regardless of whether you’re divorcing or ending a civil partnership.
For this to be achieved in practice, it is important that the relationship between you and your spouse is amicable and your financial situation not unusually complicated. You’ll need to agree on a range of important issues including child maintenance, spousal maintenance and the division of property.
With the help of our lawyers, our clients are frequently able to avoid issuing court proceedings by reaching an agreement in a collaborative way through negotiation and mediation.
Coming to an agreement between yourselves helps avoid going to court and can save you a lot of time and money. However, to make the agreement legally binding, you need to use the services of a qualified solicitor. Legalising the agreement you have made is done through a consent order.
The consent order will be sent to the court to decide if the agreement you have reached is “fair” and “reasonable”, using a checklist set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
Even if a financial settlement is reached out of court, the guidelines set out in this checklist should underpin any negotiations.
With so much to consider, and so much at stake, it is reassuring to know that you’ve got a professional team of experienced solicitors on your side to guide you through this complex process in a clear, practical manner.
We have extensive experience in financial settlements in divorce and we’ll be able to help you reach the best possible outcome.
What should we do if we can't agree on the finances?
If you find that you are unable to agree on the financial arrangements yourselves, there are other options you can explore before going to court.
One option is to attend mediation. As long as the agreement you make is then set out in the form of a financial consent order, this can be a good way to reach a settlement.
If you are trying to agree on a financial settlement yourselves at the moment, whether the negotiations are going smoothly or not, it would be of great benefit to speak to an experienced divorce solicitor as early as possible to prevent mistakes and protect your rights.
The specialist financial settlement solicitors at PSR Solicitors know this area inside out. We have your best interests at heart and will reward your trust with the high level of service you’d expect.
What are my financial rights in a divorce?
The law of dividing assets is complex and changeable according to the unique circumstances of each case. In general, and if there are children involved, the courts will prioritise the child’s welfare above everything. Priority is likely to be given to whoever is going to continue caring for the children full time.
If the children are living with the parent who earns less, has lower mortgage capacity and has less pension provision, they may well be entitled to a greater share of the division of finances to make up what is necessary to support the children properly.
How are finances usually divided in a Divorce?
The final decision on how assets are split in divorce can be made by the judge if an agreement cannot be reached. The aim is to treat both parties as fairly as possible. If there are children involved, the court is likely to give priority to whoever will continue caring for the children full time. Children must be provided with accommodation with the primary carer.
If there is any surplus after both parties' reasonable needs have been met financially the court will go on to divide the remaining assets. The court will consider assets bought during the marriage (matrimonial assests) as well as assets obtained outside of the marriage (non-matrimonial assets).
There are numerous ways of making or receiving financial payments after a divorce, including:
- Lump sum payments
- Ongoing maintenance payments
- Selling a joint property and dividing the proceeds
- Transferring ownership of a property
- Sharing pensions
What financial information will I have to provide?
The exact information that you’ll need to provide depends on your unique circumstances, so it is impossible to list these all here.
To properly sort out how the parties’ finances will be divided, a full picture of the parties’ financial situation is required so that a fair arrangement can be found, whether by agreement or by the Court.
You’ll both need to provide comprehensive details of your respective financial position in Form E.
In order to provide the best possible advice, it is vital that each party’s legal advisors have a clear and complete understanding of the family’s financial position. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Court will need this information in order to make its decision on how to divide the family’s assets and liabilities.
Are business assets included in a financial settlement?
Yes. All assets need to be discussed during financial settlement negotiations in divorce. The division of these assets will be based on your particular situation and there are a lot of factors to be considered.
- Does the company generate income that could be used to fund a financial settlement on divorce?
- What are the tax implications of selling the business?
- How are the shares structured?
- What is the company's value?
- Are there other stakeholders?
Even if one person sets up the business individually, the partner's contribution to the marriage could be seen as equally important. If that’s the case, each partner could claim entitlement to half of the value of the business.
However, the courts tend to leave the business owner with the business and compensate the other spouse with a larger share of the other assets and/or maintenance.
Usually, this is what the couple wants too.
Reaching an agreement on how to divide a business in a divorce is a challenging process. It is advisable to seek expert legal advice as early as possible to ensure you, your family and your business are properly protected.
What is a 'Financial Consent Order'?
In an uncontested divorce, where neither party wishes to defend the divorce, agreements are reached out of court. However, to make the financial agreements you’ve made legally binding, a financial consent order needs to be drawn up. This is a document that sets out the financial agreement a divorcing couple or couple dissolving a civil partnership has reached.
The financial agreement you’ve made will not be final, binding or enforceable until the court has approved a financial consent order.
How long do financial settlements take to complete?
In most cases, a divorce takes 5 - 6 months to finalise. Provided you and your spouse are co-operative and your financial situation is not too complicated, you should be able to reach a financial settlement within the same period as the divorce proceedings.
Is there a time limit for coming to a financial settlement following Divorce?
Although there is currently no time limit for making a financial settlement, we strongly advise our clients to do so at the time of divorce. If all financial issues are resolved in a court order, making sure that financial agreements are watertight, it will prevent any financial claims being made in the future.
How much are legal fees for Financial Settlement Agreements?
The legal costs associated with financial settlements in divorce vary according to how the negotiations go between you and your spouse. If you have already reached n agreement and want to instruct us to draft it, our fees will be £250 + VAT. If a simple agreement can be reached through negotiations and agreed fairly quickly with nothing contested and no complications, the legal costs are typically around £500 to £800. These fees include the costs of having a solicitor corresponding with your spouse or their legal representative, drafting your Financial Remedy Consent Order and the court charges of £50 to approve it.
If you are unable to reach an agreement and alternative methods of dispute resolution are required, such as mediation, then additional fees will be incurred.
If an agreement cannot be reached at all, then you’ll need to go to court for a settlement. This is the most costly route but is unnecessary in the majority of our cases. In this event, your solicitor will be able to advise you as to the costs in further detail.
Talk to our expert Financial Settlement Agreement Solicitors
Our clear advice will give you an objective assessment of your options.
Established in 2009, we have become the family solicitors of choice for clients in Wrexham, Ellesmere Port and North Wales area delivering a truly exceptional legal service within local communities.
Our friendly team will immediately put you at your ease and will explain everything in a clear straight-forward way, keeping you informed at all stages, to help minimise your stress and concern.
You can contact us today, safe in the knowledge that one of our dedicated Financial Settlement Solicitors will handle your case with care and attention to detail.
We offer a first, free consultation over the phone or in-person with no-obligation, with our Family Solicitors in Wrexham, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Shotton (Deeside) and in Cheshire (Ellesmere Port).
Contact us today by calling the number at the top of this page or by leaving your contact details using the enquiry form.
We regularly act for clients getting a divorce across North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside, and Liverpool. As recognised divorce law experts we can support your needs wherever you live in Wales, England & Northern Ireland.
We will respond to any query within one hour of normal office hours, or the next working day if you contact us during the evening or at the weekend.
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