Harlow: 01279 799598 contact@spectrumfamilylaw.com

News

03 June 2021
Financial Settlements in Divorce and Separation

There has been increased activity in respect of enquiries to divorce lawyers and online searches over recent months.

One area to consider which is sometimes overlooked in the initial haste to divorce or separate is the impact on financial security.   

At Spectrum Family Law we aim to achieve the best financial settlement possible for our clients. The basis of the majority of financial settlements is to obtain an equalising outcome so that both parties come out of the marriage/partnership on a level playing field so far as financial resources are concerned.

Although it is always in the best interests of all parties to keep divorce proceedings as amicable as possible it is also important to ensure that any agreement in respect of financial settlements is formalised into a legally binding court order – referred to as a "Consent Order", so that neither party can go back on the agreement. It is usual for this to be done without the need for anyone to set foot inside a Court.

For unmarried couples a separation agreement should be considered to record the agreement reached in case of any future disagreement.

The following points will be considered when proceeding towards a financial settlement.

  • Employment, Income and Maintenance
  • Assets including
    • The Matrimonial Home
    • Investments, Stocks and Shares, Pensions
    • Business Valuation
  • Liabilities including
    • Mortgages
    • Debts

Many of the above may be difficult to assess in the current circumstances where individuals are already seeing the effect of the pandemic and Brexit on their financial situation. 

This may be particularly noticeable in respect of income where employment has been hit hard by redundancies, or where those who are self-employed have seen their income tumble or disappear.  It follows that obtaining business, investment, pension and property valuations are more difficult.  The matrimonial home and the division of the equity in that property is often the foundation of many financial settlements. All of these facts will be taken into account when assessing a settlement especially if maintenance will be involved.

Our lawyers will also advise on the importance of Pension Sharing Orders, particularly to older divorcing couples.  Research has shown that over a quarter of women give up their right to a share of their husband's pension which may have a significant effect on their long term financial security.

In most cases identifying future needs is of importance so you can identify how the resources can be stretched to meet those needs.

Our lawyers will also advise you to obtain independent financial advice as they have the  expertise to help analyse the available funds against meeting the pressing needs in more detail.

For further information telephone 01279 799598 or email contact@spectrumfamilylaw.com

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