Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Is divorce all about dividing the prize winnings at the end of a big race?

Separating from your partner can feel as though you are swept up in a never ending steeplechase with ‘money’ being the big prize on offer. But there are so many other considerations when separating and here are just a few of the options below:

  1. Yes, of course the family finances are going to be one of the front runners when thinking about separation. If it is affordable, it is usual for the financial status quo to be maintained at least in the short term while you investigate a long term settlement. However many spouses fall at the first hurdle and make key financial mistakes before they have taken legal advice.
  2. The family home will be very important, whether it is owned in joint names or not. Married couples are both entitled to occupy the family home. One spouse cannot simply evict the other from the home or change the locks without consent. However the needs of the children to be housed are likely to be a paramount consideration.
  3. It is important that both you and your partner reassure your children that although you don’t get on anymore, they are safe and loved by you both.  Be open with the children without involving them in the conflict. Research indicates that parents that work together for the children during this difficult time have a much better outcome. Give the children permission to enjoy time with the other parent. There is lots of advice on this issue in the Resolution leaflet ‘Parenting After Parting’ from  www.Resolution.org
  4. It is important to take independent legal advice at an early stage.  Your legal advisor will be able to set out the various routes available to you including options that save money and avoid Court by concentrating on constructive discussions to bring matters to a conclusion by agreement.  Either way it is important that you understand your legal rights and obligations to your spouse and children and avoid the pitfalls.

Everyone has a favourite for the Grand National and in much the same way everyone will have an opinion on your situation (and maybe a horror story to tell). However from a legal perspective every family situation is different so try not to compare your family ‘stable’ with anyone else.

If you would like further information or advice, please speak to one of our expert family lawyers.


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