What is a divorce financial settlement?
Following a divorce or separation, one of the biggest concerns is often family finances. Who keeps the marital home? Are you entitled to any of your ex-partner’s savings? How will you support your family?
A financial settlement in divorce refers to a legally binding agreement that determines the division of your assets and wealth upon divorce. A financial settlement divorce is applicable for separating couples that are married, civil partners, or co-habiting partners.
What can affect a divorce financial settlement?
Based on the checklist detailed in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the family court will consider a range of factors when determining who gets what in a divorce financial settlement. Primarily, the needs of any children will be considered first and foremost, after which they will look at:
- The income and earning capacity of each party
- Both parties current and future financial needs
- The age of each party
- The length of the marriage including time spent living together before the marriage or civil partnership
- Whether there is any foreseeable change in you or your partner’s finances
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
- Any physical or mental disability or either party
- Both parties’ health, and whether this will affect your future abilities to earn
- Other contributions a party has made to the welfare of the family including looking after your home or caring for your family
What is the process of obtaining a divorce financial settlement?
Not everyone has to go through multiple court hearings to obtain a divorce financial settlement. Instead, you may be able to reach an agreeable settlement between yourselves. Alternatively, you may need to explore dispute resolution methods, mediation, or skilled negotiation to come to an agreement.
If you agree on your divorce financial settlement:
Once you’ve reached a consensus, you’ll need to instruct your solicitor to draft a ‘consent order’ that will then be put before the judge for approval. Once approved, the order will be legally binding and you must both abide by the terms set out in the order. If the judge deems the agreement unfair, you’ll need to negotiate again.
If you don’t agree on your divorce financial settlement:
However, if you’re struggling to come to a divorce financial settlement on your own even after involving solicitors and trying various dispute resolution methods, then you may have no other option than to initiate court proceedings.
To do this, you will need to apply for a ‘financial order’ that details how your assets (any vehicles, savings, property, etc.) should be divided. You will, however, be required to pay a court fee and may face a wait of up to 12 months before a decision is made.
Speak to our expert divorce financial settlement solicitors today
No matter what your ideal divorce financial settlement outcome might look like, we always recommend contacting the professionals to ensure you receive accurate and up to date legal guidance.
Here at Freeman Jones Legal, our knowledgeable divorce financial settlement solicitors explain everything in straightforward terms, so you know exactly what to expect every step of the way. For unparalleled legal advice, reassurance, and support, please feel free to give us a call today on 01244 506 444.
Divorce financial settlements consider a range of factors including the income and earning capacity of each party, their current and future financial needs, as well as the age of each party, to name just a few.
Typically, divorce financial settlements should be 50/50 in the UK. However, this equal split is often not achieved due to contributing factors. One party will normally receive a greater proportion of the matrimonial assets, creating a 70/30 or 60/40 split instead.
This depends on whether you and your ex-partner can come to a quick agreement or not. If court hearings are required, the process could take up to 9-12 months.
There is no automatic entitlement to maintenance for either party. Each person’s financial circumstances will need to be evaluated to decide who (if anyone) is required to pay maintenance to the other.
Ultimately, every financial settlement in a divorce is required to be approved by a judge who will ratify the document if they find the terms of the proposed settlement to be fair.
The standard court fee for submitting a financial order is £275, while the support from a solicitor for mediation, negotiation, and court hearings (if required) can cost anywhere from a couple thousand of pounds to tens of thousands depending on the complexity and duration of the case.
While many individuals do attempt to hide bank accounts when going through a divorce to conceal the extent of their assets, this is an illegal practice and is punishable with a penalty.
Although a solicitor is not always necessary, especially if you’re on good terms with your ex-partner and can agree to terms, it’s always advisable to seek professional legal guidance from an experienced family law firm like us.
Yes, the length of the marriage or civil partnership will affect the divorce financial settlement in the UK.
As a pension is a shared marital asset, a judge may decide that a pension pot should be shared in some divorce and separation cases. However, there are various pension sharing options to explore.
Get in touch with our Divorce Financial Settlement Solicitors
Our financial settlement solicitors will work with you to ensure that you understand the process and will explain everything in straightforward terms so that you are comfortable with the decisions you make. You can rest assured that our family solicitors have the necessary expertise to ensure that you achieve the best financial settlement for you.
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