Organising financial affairs during a separation or divorce is a delicate process. Our Financial Settlement Solicitors are dedicated to helping clients throughout divorce or separation. Splitting finances is potentially the most stressful, so it’s essential to get legal advice early on to make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.
We draft Financial Settlements In Divorce that safeguard your interests, and protect you from future claims. As an award-winning law firm, Rowlinson's solicitors have been helping families throughout the North-west and Cheshire get the fairest outcome for everyone involved, whatever their situation.
Rowlinson's are qualified to consult not only on traditional divorce and mediation but also on Collaborative Law. We’ll explain the benefits of each option as well as the process involved so you can choose the right service to suit you and your family’s circumstances.
Our memberships include the Law Society's Family Law accreditation scheme and Resolution Specialist accreditation scheme. Our team also includes a collaborative trained lawyer and accredited family mediator. You can be sure of our high level of expertise and commitment to resolving family disputes peacefully and constructively. This is especially important when children are involved.
We understand that divorce can be expensive. Everyone should have access to high-quality legal advice which is why we offer different pricing structures to make it more affordable for you.
Ready to take control of your financial affairs? Call our Solicitors today for an initial conversation or complete the enquiry form, so we can get back to you at a convenient time. You can also arrange to meet us in person at our North Wales facilities.
How we reach Financial Settlements In Divorce
Understand your options
The starting point for Financial Settlements In Divorce is knowing your rights, obligations and entitlements. Otherwise, you won’t know what to realistically expect.
We’re here to support you by providing clear, objective legal advice in all financial matters. Our Financial Settlement Solicitors will help you take the guesswork out of decision-making so you can effectively plan your future.
Proceed with care
At this emotionally charged time, feelings can quickly cloud your better judgement which could lead to making a wrong move with negative consequences for years to come.
We take the time to walk you through the process, so you have space to act calmly and wisely. This helps you best manage your financial affairs and clears the path to a favourable result.
Divorce is hard enough without turning up the heat during the financial negotiations. That’s why we’re committed to solving family problems through a positive and non-confrontational approach to make the process as harmonious as possible.
Separating Finances in Divorce and Separation
What am I entitled to in a divorce?
What you receive is what both parties agree on or what the court decides is fair. There are no hard and fast rules regarding entitlement, but at Rowlinsons, we can tell you what you can reasonably expect.
Start by identifying your and your ex-partner’s assets. We can support you with assessing these and determining their value.
You and your partner must declare all matrimonial assets, even if you think they are your sole property. Any attempt to conceal assets during this process could result in a fine or more serious punishment from the court if either of you is found out. If you think your ex may be taking steps to hide assets let us know. We can advise you on what you should do.
How are assets distributed?
Section 25 of the Matrimonial Cause Act sets out a number of factors for determining the distribution of assets. These factors include income, earning capacity and any other financial resources. The court will also examine your financial needs, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, your age, and how long you were married.
When you talk to our Financial Settlement Solicitors, we’ll help you clarify your relevant individual circumstances to help you put forward the best case.
Matrimonial or marital assets include any assets that were accrued during the period of marriage. These are all considered during the divorce proceedings.
The definition of assets includes:
- Bonds, mutual funds, and stocks
- Bank and building society balances
- Furniture and household contents
These assets were either accrued before the marriage or after the separation. They could also be assets inherited by one party or received by a gift. These are not necessarily discounted. Again, the court can use its discretion.
If one party has used a non-matrimonial asset to purchase something during the marriage – using an inheritance to buy a property, for example – the property will be considered a marital asset.
The family home
There are a few ways to deal with the family home when you divorce:
- Sell the house and split the proceeds
- One spouse buys the other one out, making them the sole owner.
- Ownership is transferred to one party making them the sole owner, but the exiting spouse retains a stake in the value of the property.
- One person stays in the house, but the property remains in shared ownership.
- In England and Wales, a Mesher order where you keep the house and arrange to sell it at a later date, for example, when the children come of age can be considered if it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances of the case.
We will talk you through your options to see what’s right for you.
The pensions held by either party are considered part of the financial settlement and divided accordingly.
There are three main ways to deal with pensions:
The value of the pension belonging to one party is divided between the couple. This means each party has their pension pot to deal with as they see fit. This allows for a clean break in financial arrangements.
Rather than sharing their pension, one person keeps it while the other spouse is allocated assets of a different nature (such as property) which are offset against the value of the pension. This also allows for a clean financial break.
Pension attachment order
Also known as ‘earmarking,’ this option is rarer. It involves an order being made for the ex-spouse to receive some or all the other person’s pension benefits. It’s not the most clear-cut option as the person on the receiving end must wait until the pension holder decides to retire and payments can cease if their ex-spouse gets remarried or dies.
Any liabilities accrued during the period of marriage should be identified and considered. It is especially important to organise any debts taken out in joint names because they will be the obligation of both parties. If your ex-partner decides to stop paying a debt in joint names, creditors will pursue you for the repayment. Even if you knew nothing about it.
Also, it’s not unheard of for an ex-spouse to run up large debts in the other’s name. We can advise you on what precautions to take to avoid this.
You can start to disassociate financially from your partner at any time. We have years of experience assisting separating couples, so get in touch with us now.
Often, one spouse is financially dependent on the other during the marriage. If you don’t have the means to support yourself, we can reach an agreement for ongoing payments to help with living expenses.
At Rowlinsons we’re experienced in dealing with financial arrangements in divorce and can work with you to achieve a fair and reasonable amount. If your ex-partner fails to keep up with payments, we can also advise you on your legal options.
Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement is not legally binding. However, the court will give weight to the agreement if certain criteria are met to make it a ‘qualifying nuptial agreement.’ These include that when drawing up the agreement both parties were clear and transparent about their assets, and they took out independent legal advice.
The financial settlement must be made legally binding with a financial consent order. If no financial order is in place, it leaves you vulnerable to a financial claim in the future, for example, if one party comes into a large sum of money and their ex feels entitled to it, or someone decides later that they were treated unfairly.
There are examples where a successful claim was made even decades later after the divorce which is why you need to ensure you get a financial order from the court to back up your Financial Settlement In Divorce.
Unmarried couples in England and Wales do not have the same rights as married couples or those with a civil partnership agreement. This makes it even more important to know your rights and get legal advice as early as possible. If you want to know how to sort out your finances when your relationship ends, get in touch today and we can help.