When a marriage or civil partnership breaks down, some of the most difficult and complicated issues are those concerning finances, both in the short and long term.
It is vital that you get advice from a Family Law Solicitor who specialises in resolution of financial matters as soon as possible.
Please remember that every case is different, even though similar circumstances can exist in some cases, the outcome is often very different.
Make the most out of your first meeting with your Solicitor. Try to gather together as much documentation in relation to your finances as possible. For example, it is important to know whether your family home is owned by one or both of you, the amount outstanding on any mortgage, the value of any other asset, including the value of pensions and the extent of any debts. Gather together any information you have in relation to any business you own.
Please consider limiting any credit cards, bills and joint Bank or Building Society accounts which you may have together. That could include liaising with your Bank in order to ensure that no withdrawals are made from an account without both signatures being obtained so as to protect savings and investments.
Many cases are resolved by agreement. However for there to be an agreement, approved by the Court, you are obliged to provide full details as to your financial position by disclosing information about your income, capital, pension and any debts. Hiding assets could have devastating repercussions and may lead to your case being re-opened so that the settlement can be re-assessed.
The Farleys’ Family Law Team’s specialist financial experts ensure that the Court’s wide ranging powers are used to get the right outcome for you regarding income, capital (by way of lump sum provision), changing rights in properties, or pensions.
In making a decision the Court considers a number of factors including your:-
• Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources both now and in the near future;
• Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities both now and in the near future;
• Family’s standard of living before the marriage broke down;
• Age and the length of your marriage;
• Health including any physical or mental disability;
• Contributions towards the family’s welfare;
• Conduct, of each person, although, usually this is disregarded;
• Loss of any benefit (particularly pensions benefits) which may be lost on divorce.
Remember, the first consideration is always given to the welfare of any child under 18 years of age.
A balancing exercise is then carried out. There are no presumptions in relation to each person’s entitlement. The Court will try to achieve an outcome of fairness.
Many people try to achieve a financial clean break following the breakdown of their marriage. It is important to consider whether this can be done either now or in the reasonably near future and whether this is right for you.
In relation to maintenance for children, the Court can generally only deal with maintenance for a child both of you, as the child’s parents agree and if not, the Child Maintenance Service will help.
As every family is different, at Farleys we provide solutions to the difficulties you face. Our bespoke Case Management Meetings allow you to have expert Family Law advice on your financial situation following a relationship breakdown at a fixed fee of £250 inclusive of VAT so as to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome. Get in touch with our family law solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.