During the breakdown of a marriage, there are several aspects to consider. From where children will live to how to divide property, it can feel as though the tasks involved are never-ending. Often, the aspect that causes the most issues between separating partners is splitting finances fairly and in a way that suits both spouses.
You will need to create a financial agreement to organise the financial obligations between yourself and your ex-spouse, including the level of child maintenance payable and how you will settle assets. Once approved by the courts, a financial agreement is a legally binding document (a consent order), recording the final document.
The creation of financial settlements can be complex and can raise many questions. In this article, our family law solicitors consider some frequently asked questions surrounding financial settlements on divorce. If you have more questions and would like to speak to an experienced family law solicitor, please call 01452 521 286 or 01242 269 998.
Is every financial arrangement different?
Every divorce case is different; therefore, so is every financial settlement. Each matter is managed on a case-by-case basis, and during court proceedings, the judge has complete discretion (albeit a framework to follow) on how assets will be divided. There is no standard routine or formula, and if you and your ex-spouse decide to relinquish control completely, how the court will manage your assets is unpredictable.
Will our finances be split evenly?
Various factors are considered when determining how assets and finances are divided, including the needs of each party, compensation entitlement and their responsibility to share.
In addition, although often one partner will inherently earn more than the other, considerations for a financial settlement are tempered by non-financial contributions, too. This might include raising the children and taking care of the home, as well as any other elements in this vain. In this sense, both the partner earning the wealth and managing the home are considered equal in the marriage, which will be reflected in the settlement.
When is the best time to organise the finances?
Regarding divorce proceedings, there is not a time limit by which the finances must be settled. However, a delay in making a financial application could affect the amount you are awarded and will inevitably complicate the situation. Therefore, once you have completed your agreement, you should apply to the court straight away. Depending on how easily you and your spouse came to your agreement, you may propose a set of terms for the court to approve or instead seek the help of a judge to help you make these decisions.
If you require intervention from a neutral third party to assist you in coming to a decision, you are likely to attend mediation before court commences.
Do my children affect my financial settlement?
All children and stepchildren under the age of 18 will be considered as part of a financial settlement. Although your children’s needs will be considered first, this does not mean they are considered most important. A variety of matters will be deliberated.
Child maintenance may be included as part of a financial settlement; however, if this is the case, the maintenance would only be legally binding for 12 months. Find out more about how we can support you with your child arrangements on divorce here.
What happens to our pensions?
In the past, it has been easy to overlook the importance of properly dividing pension entitlement during divorce. However, as pensions are now one of the most significant assets to consider, couples should do more to ensure that they protect themselves for the future.
For rare circumstances by which a couple has divorced and remarried one another, they may not have a second pension to share against the same scheme if they divorce for the second time. Meanwhile, if a pension has already been shared in a previous marriage, nothing can prevent it from being shared after a second divorce.
Financial Settlement Solicitors Gloucestershire
When divorcing, you will want to do all you can to ensure that your best interests are protected financially in the future. Therefore, ensuring that your financial settlement agreement is well-drafted and considered legally binding is essential.
At Langley Wellington, our family law solicitors in Cheltenham and Gloucester understand the overwhelming nature of organising your finances following a relationship breakdown. Our team will help you decide on the important factors to consider when you reach an agreement, ensuring you fully understand your rights and obligations.
This blog is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors.