If you are getting divorced, you will need to decide how your finances are divided between you. This usually involves deciding one or more of the following:-
1. What is going to happen to the main house?
2. What is going to happen to any other properties you own?
3. What is going to happen to any cash and investment?
4. Is child maintenance payable and if so how much?
5. Should one of you be paying financial support to the other?
6. Are there any pensions that should be shared?
7. What is going to happen to any businesses you own, and how should any value of the business be taken into account in the financial agreement that you reach?
It doesn’t matter whose name the assets are in; when you are married they can go to either person, or be divided between you. Legally, there are different considerations that are taken into account when answering each of the above questions.
So, how are you actually going to go about deciding the above. There are four main options:
1. You could speak to each other direct and make decisions. Most people find this too difficult either because emotions are running high or they are not sure what might be fair in their circumstances. This option can also be taken in conjunction with one of the below.
2. You could both go to mediation with a mediator. The mediator will help you to answer these questions and reach an agreement. If mediation is appropriate, and sometimes it’s not, in my opinion this is the best option, as it’s usually more amicable and cost effective.
3. You could ask a solicitor to deal with everything. The solicitor will act on your behalf and take you through the process of reaching an agreement.
4. If you can’t reach an agreement, or if the other person is not cooperating, either of you can make an application to the Court, and ask a Judge to decide how your finances should be divided. This starts a long process of Court proceedings with three Court hearings as standard, although this could be less or more depending on your circumstances. You can however reach an agreement at any stage during the Court process.
The first stage of any of the above is to know what your financial circumstances are. This involves providing full disclosure to each other. Then you can try to reach an agreement. When an agreement is reached, that agreement needs to be set out in a financial consent order and sent to the Court for approval. Only when the agreement is approved by the Court does it become final and binding.
If you need any help with any of the above, please do give me a call on 01865 521041.