Divorce finances and financial settlements

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Finding the best way forward to resolve your financial issues in a divorce or separation

Settling financial issues can be the cause of serious disagreements during a divorce or separation. Financial settlements can be complex, especially if there are numerous assets involved. Yet separation and divorce finances don’t have to be a bone of contention. Pragmatic and intelligent legal advice can help you reach an arrangement that’s acceptable to both of you, calmly and effectively.

If you’re just starting a new relationship, it could be a good time to arrange your financial affairs, so it’s easier to settle any financial disputes if they occur later. The best way to achieve this is to get legal advice on a pre-nuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement.

If you have received a divorce application unexpectedly, or you believe that your partner is separating finances before divorce proceedings are issued in an attempt to hide or dispose of assets, you need to seek legal advice immediately to make sure your interests are protected. Managing finances after divorce proceedings have been finalised can be difficult, so it’s always advised to start seeking professional advice as soon as you are sure that the relationship is ending. It is important to try to reach an agreement regarding finances before divorce proceedings are finalised and coming to a financial settlement that both parties agree to, it can bring things to a quicker and cleaner end.

Joanna Farrands

Joanna Farrands

Partner | Family

01483 543223

What are financial settlements in divorce?

Finances in divorce refer to the division of assets and liabilities between the spouses upon divorce. This can include property, pensions, savings, investments, and debts. The division of finances will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, including the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, and the future needs of each spouse. A court may also consider any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements.

Financial claims for unmarried couples

The law regarding unmarried couples is very different to that for married couples. No matter how long you’ve lived together, your rights and obligations to each other in a relationship breakdown are limited. If there are children involved, there may be additional financial claims made on their behalf, as well as special rules relating to the family home.

We can explain your rights and obligations, including how they’re affected if you have a family, and help you move on to find a resolution.

Financial claims for children

Making sure your children are financially secure for the future will be one of the most important aspects of your separation or divorce. There are several financial claims that can be made on their behalf, including ensuring suitable property arrangements, paying or receiving maintenance and how to handle lump sums.

The solutions will depend on your specific situation, so it’s best to get comprehensive, personal legal advice. We will listen, make sure we understand and then use our extensive legal expertise to help find effective and acceptable answers.

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Further financial advice before divorce

There are other financial aspects that we can help you resolve if you’re divorcing or separating, such as property, pension sharing, family wealth and whether one or both of you have a business or are both involved in the same business.

Separating finances in divorce or separation may not always be straightforward but having legal assistance to look after your best interests can make a significant difference to the outcome.

Many of our clients are company directors and professionals with significant business assets, and we have established an impressive reputation for handling divorces involving company assets and family businesses. There’s more information about what is involved and how we can help, on our business and divorce page.

How are finances split in a divorce?

There is no simple answer to how finances are split in a divorce, as there are many factors that have to be taken into account, as well as the individual circumstances of the couple or family. Every marriage and divorce is different, so the settlement that the couple come to will be different in every case. If there is a pre-nuptial agreement in place (also known as a prenup or prenuptial agreement), this can make things easier to agree on, but UK courts have the discretion to disregard this document if they deem it unfair towards any children of the marriage.

How Moore Barlow can help

Our experienced family law team can help you with practical and expert advice on the financial aspects of your divorce; we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We have with offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking and offer specialist support and advice to our clients nationwide. Get in touch for more information.

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Frequently asked questions about divorce finances

How to protect your finances in a divorce

Finances in a divorce can be complex and there are many variables and different circumstances that can affect who has a right to which assets in the event that the marriage breaks down and you decide to divorce. It’s important to take expert legal advice as soon as you think that the marriage is coming to an end, so that you can ensure that your financial interests are being represented by specialists.

In the UK, the starting point for dividing marital assets is 50/50, but there are many things that can change that kind of ratio, so it’s important to get specialist legal advice quickly so that you can find the best approach for your specific circumstances.

It is possible for a divorce to be finalised without the couple sorting out their finances in England and Wales, but this is usually a very unwise situation to be in as it can mean your partner may have future claims against you that have an impact on finances.

It is recommended that you come to a financial settlement, that both parties agree to, before the divorce is finalised, as this means that everyone knows where they stand financially and can start to move forward with their life without any potential future claims putting this at risk.

Divorce can have a major impact on your financial situation, depending on the circumstances involved and the division of assets in the financial settlement that you come to with your former partner.

The aim is always to divide any marital assets fairly (which doesn’t always mean equally) and that the needs of any dependant children are taken into consideration. It’s not just the division of assets at the end of the marriage that needs to be considered by the couple in relation to their finances, but also how their individual finances will be affected by the divorce going forward. This won’t necessarily play a part in the financial settlement they agree on, but is something that needs to be taken into account for life after the divorce.

Taking expert legal advice from our family lawyers throughout the divorce process can help make sure that your financial rights are protected and represented in the best possible way.

How finances are sorted in a divorce depends on many different factors and the willingness of those involved to come to a fair agreement. If there are lots of different assets involved, especially if some are tied up in trusts, businesses or assets in other countries, it can make the situation very complex. This is why it’s so important to take specialist legal advice on finances as quickly as possible once it’s known that the marriage is going to end.

Sorting out finances and assets on divorce or separation can be a real challenge, especially if the situation is quite complex and there is no prenuptial agreement in place. Some of the areas considered include:

  • The marital assets and how they should be divided.
  • The future needs of each party, plus those of any children of the family.
  • How to best achieve a financial clean break, so there are no joint financial links or continuing claims between the couple (apart from child maintenance, if applicable) going forward.

It’s important that your financial interests are protected during a divorce, which is why ensuring that you take specialist legal advice as early as possible is essential.

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