Divorce and Separation – Financial
The financial arrangements arising from a separation and divorce can be onerous and will vary from one individual to another. Key considerations often raised are:
- Does the family home have to be sold?
- What happens to savings and pensions?
- How to avoid getting into debt?
- What level of income will I have and will maintenance be payable after divorce?
- Will child maintenance be payable
We prioritise your immediate financial concerns and offer you practical and legal support
Our Services include:
- Negotiating and Drafting Consent Orders – when the division of matrimonial assets has been agreed with the other spouse either through negotiations, mediation or through the collaborative process
- Issuing matrimonial finance proceedings – In some cases where the issues cannot be narrowed the court can make a determination as to the financial arrangements and make a financial remedy order. The court has a wide discretion when determining the financial requirements of each party. There is no standard formula for calculating the appropriate financial provision on divorce. Instead the court has a duty to consider all the circumstances of the case and to take into account a range of specific statutory factors set out in S.25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (the section 25 factors). These factors are summarised below.
- The capital and income resources available to the parties, either existing or reasonably foreseeable.
- The financial needs of the parties, including their standard of living, their ages and the length of the marriage and any disabilities.
- The respective contributions of each party
- The conduct of each party (although only in exceptional cases)
- Any benefit either party will lose as a result of the divorce (such as a spouse’s pension).
When considering the section 25 factors, different judges may reach a range of different solutions on identical facts, all of which would be within their judicial discretion. However, a line of cases has established a standard approach to the way the courts consider a given set of facts. The starting point is that assets accrued during a marriage (known as matrimonial assets) are divided equally, and the guiding principles applied are ”equal sharing”, ”needs” and ”compensation”. The matrimonial home is normally considered a matrimonial asset, so is divided equally between the parties even if it was owned by one of them before the marriage.
Where an equal division of matrimonial assets adequately provides for the capital and income needs of each party and any children, this is the appropriate financial outcome.
Where the needs of the parties and any children cannot be met by an equal division, an unequal division of resources may be appropriate instead. In these cases, needs are likely to dictate how capital and income are divided.
Our family lawyers often deal with high net worth clients and professionals with international connections. They will provide you the following services to assist you in achieving a fair and reasonable settlement.
- Assisting with financial disclosure
- Assisting with valuation of assets
- Instructing experts to value the assets
- Instructing experts to value pensions
- Advising on assets structure and division
- Instructing experts on international assets tracing
- Making non-disclosure applications
- Advising on offers of settlement
- Representing the client throughout the entire course of proceedings
- Making joinder application where matrimonial assets include trust interest
- Severing joint tenancies – Wills /Private client & Conveyancing referral
- Issuing applications in the High Court in complex financial proceedings – involving trust property, third party interests and overseas property.
- Advising cohabitees on TOLATA 1996 proceedings