Dealing with financial matters can be a hugely daunting part of divorce or separation. However, it is very important that financial matters are resolved properly to provide certainty for your future, and to prevent the possibility of a claim being brought against you many years later.

The court has the power to make a number of orders, and we will help you to assess which of these are relevant to your situation. We are experts in dealing with complex financial matters, particularly those involving property, businesses, pensions, agricultural assets, trusts and offshore assets.

We offer a wide range of approaches for dealing with financial matters, including Collaborative Law, and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. We will always try to reach a settlement by negotiation following disclosure of all financial information, but if it is necessary to issue court proceedings, we adopt a sensible but robust approach to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

1. How long will it take to resolve financial matters?

This will depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of your financial situation, the approach you select to resolve financial matters and whether your spouse is willing to co-operate with the process. Please contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a more realistic estimate based upon your personal circumstances.

2. Is my spouse automatically entitled to half of my assets?

The court will look at the capital needs, income needs and pension requirements of both parties. It may also be important to consider where the assets have come from and how they have been treated during the marriage. The starting point is usually a 50:50 division of assets, but there may be a number of reasons why there should be unequal division in favour of one party. This may be affected by the value of assets available in comparison to the needs of the parties.

3. Will I have to go to court to deal with the finances?

There are various ways to deal with the finances. We will usually try and negotiate with your spouse or their solicitor. We can arrange a roundtable meeting. We will also consider other forms of alternative dispute resolution, such as Collaborative Law, mediation, and arbitration. Ultimately, if things cannot be sorted out on a voluntary basis, an application to court may be necessary.

4. I’ve received money from my parents – is my spouse entitled to a share of this?

If family or friends have given you money or property, you should make us aware of this. Its treatment within the divorce can depend upon circumstances and the basis upon which it was received. If there is an expectation that the money should be repaid, and this is not agreed by your spouse, your parents or whoever loaned the money should take separate legal advice as they may require independent representation.

5. I have no money for my daily expenses – what can I do?

It can take some time to resolve financial matters and you may find that you need financial support from your spouse during the period between separation and the divorce being finalised. If you are in this situation, you can make an application to court for spousal maintenance pending the resolution of financial matters (Maintenance Pending Suit). The court will assess your needs, based on your monthly income and expenditure. If an order is made, this will place an obligation on your spouse to make periodical payments to you until the divorce is finalised or until a further order is made.

6. I don’t want to get divorced – can I still deal with financial matters?

If you and your spouse are able to agree on financial matters, you can enter into a Separation Agreement which will formalise arrangements between you. Alternatively, you can commence judicial separation proceedings which will allow the court to consider the financial matters, without there being a divorce. If you resolve financial issues you should always get this recorded in an order to remove the risk of claims against you in the future.

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