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News

10 November 2021
Financial settlements and Child Arrangements in Divorce

Divorce is never easy and can often become an acrimonious process with emotions running high. This is particularly the case where finances are concerned.

This was highlighted in a recent case of Crowther –v- Crowther.  The battle over finances had raged through 34 court hearings and extensive litigation with the couple spending over £2.3 million in legal fees.  At the recent Hearing the Judge condemned the couple for destroying their lifestyle with a “nihilistic” court battle. The couple who had married 25 years ago had enjoyed a lifestyle which included a luxury home (bought for £4.5million), expensive cars, an aeroplane, private school for their children.

At the end of this process Mr Justice Peel awarded Mr Crowther £77,414 of their remaining assets and his wife the remaining £660,961.

In his judgment Mr Justice Peel also said that “the main losers in this battle were the children who quite apart from the emotional pain of seeing their parents’ divorce will be deprived of monies which I am sure their parents would otherwise have wanted them to benefit”.

At Spectrum Family Law we aim to achieve the best financial settlement possible for our clients while helping them to avoid the above scenario. 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.

Our lawyers will also advise on the importance of Pension Sharing Orders.  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.

The other aspect of divorce which causes distress (both to the parents and the children) and can result in protracted child arrangement matters is the inability of parents, to separate their own emotions and feelings regarding the co-parent from the issues regarding the child and the child’s relationship with the co-parent.  Other than in exceptional circumstances it is normally always in the best interests of the child to have a happy and secure relationship with both parents.

The Court’s approach is to prioritise what is in the children’s best interests, and so this should be the starting point for any discussions and decisions parents make.  Parents should try to encourage discussion, cooperation and joint decision-making with each other.

Again, Spectrum Family Law can advise on all aspects of Children Act matters, finances and divorce and separation.

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