Financial settlements on divorce
When a couple divorce one of the biggest issues is how to divide their finances and property. Our experienced divorce solicitors will work on your behalf to achieve the best possible settlement available to you.
The negotiation of a financial settlement will involve taking into account many factors, including:
- The financial and other needs of any children
- The current earnings of both parties
- The potential future earning capacity of both parties
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage and income needs
- Contributions that both parties have made to the marriage, both financial and otherwise - including looking after the house or caring for children
- Assets of each party, including accrued pension values
Reaching an agreement on finances
The ideal solution is for an amicable financial agreement to be reached by negotiation between both parties and their solicitors. This will help to minimise legal fees and avoid the necessity of going to court to reach a settlement.
If an agreement can be reached out of court then your solicitor will draw up a consent order giving full details of the agreement reached. Both parties sign this agreement and it is then sent to the court for a Judge to check it is reasonable before the court endorses it as a legally binding order.
What if we can't agree?
If a financial settlement cannot be reached then an application will be made to the court and a timetable will be fixed. It is essentially a three stage process:
- First directions appointment "FDA":
During the first stage both parties have to disclose their financial circumstances to the Judge. Your solicitor will deal with all the paperwork involved and ensure that everything is in order prior to the hearing. At this stage the Judge is checking that we have all the information we need and will give directions to progress the case to stage 2, for example, whether any valuations of property or businesses are required.
- Financial dispute resolution hearing "FDR":
Here the Judge will give guidance to the parties on areas of dispute and will encourage the parties to find a compromise solution which is fair to both of them. Most cases do settle at this stage.
- The trial:
If the case cannot settle, then a trial date will be fixed and the Judge will hear evidence from both parties and solicitors before deciding what should happen and making an order which the Judge considers to be fair.
All financial settlements are different as they are based on the circumstances of the individuals involved. There are few hard and fast rules about who will get what.
Contact us for a consultation with one of our experienced divorce solicitors.
Also see out divorce and finances FAQ.
Our team of family solicitors comprises Resolution Accredited Specialists, Collaboratively trained lawyers and members of the Law Society's Children Panel.