FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS IN DIVORCE - FINANCIAL REMEDY

The final division of your property and assets is crucial in any divorce or civil partnership dissolution. Many people believe that a divorce will end the financial relationship but this is untrue, even if there are limited or no assets at the time. A recent case in the media of the “wind farm millionaire” demonstrated that financial claims can be made many years after divorce if no financial remedy settlement “clean break” was obtained at the time. Divorce ends your marriage and nothing more. To divide your finances or to get protection from future claims you need to obtain a Financial Remedy Order. This order sets out how property, pensions, bank accounts and other assets are to be split and sometimes it will simply state that nothing needs to be divided with you each keeping your own assets.

DO I NEED TO OBTAIN A FINANCIAL REMEDY ORDER?

The short answer is “Yes”. Failure to obtain a financial remedy order dealing with finances at the time of your divorce could leave you open to future claims and potential court action by your former spouse, this could have a serious impact on your financial position in the future.

Many people fail to deal properly with finances at the time of their divorce:

  • They believe there are no assets.
  • They mistakenly believe assets have already been divided.
  • They believe that by getting divorced they are protected.
  • They are put off by the legal costs.

This can turn out to be an expensive oversight: Assets like pensions are often difficult to value accurately and without a pension sharing order cannot be shared. Without expert advice, you may end up with an unfair settlement or face claims in the future. Your assets may be worth substantially more in the future when you face a claim and the fact that you may have been divorced or separated for some time may not matter.

At Family Law Consultants we have developed cost-effective packages to deal with financial settlements on divorce (called "Financial Remedies.") You can find details on our How We Charge pages. Our fixed fees will vary depending on the complexity of your case and the level of agreement between you and your spouse or partner.

HOW DO I GO ABOUT DIVIDING THE ASSETS?

Finances can be settled in several ways:

  • Between yourselves — We can draw up a Financial Remedy Order by consent (Consent Order) setting out what you have agreed which can then be filed at court.
  • Negotiating with our help — We will obtain full details of your financial circumstances and request the same from your spouse. Once there is full and frank disclosure, we will advise you on settlement and make written offers with the aim of reaching an agreement.
  • Mediation — We can recommend a reputable family mediation service nearby and formalise any agreement you reach in a Consent Order, so that it receives court approval.
  • Application to court — If an agreement is not possible after you have been to family mediation (this is a mandatory step required before you are allowed to make a court application. There are some exceptions), you can make a court application for ancillary relief.

EXPAT DIVORCE

We regularly represent people all over the world who are entitled to use the jurisdiction of England & Wales to divorce. A lot will depend on where your assets are. If you are considering divorcing here whilst you or your spouse is aboard, please contact us for an initial consultation so that we can ascertain whether you are eligible.

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