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Financial Settlements on Divorce

Added by Berlad Graham
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June 5, 2024

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Divorce or dissolution is the legal process that ends a marriage or civil partnership. The breakdown of any relationship can be incredibly unsettling, and even when both parties agree to separate, it can be a hugely stressful and emotional time.

One of the main causes of disagreement between separating couples is money. However, reaching an agreement with an ex-partner over financial arrangements is crucial.

A married couple’s finances are not automatically covered in divorce or dissolution proceedings. Separating yourself financially is a distinct process that must be handled extremely carefully.

Specialist advice from a family lawyer with experience in financial matters on divorce is crucial. Any agreement reached between parties must be formalised by a consent order to prevent any potential future claims.

In this blog, our experienced Family Lawyers answer your frequently asked questions about financial orders on divorce.

What is a financial consent order?

A final divorce order is only the legal end to a marriage. How finances and other assets are divided needs to be agreed on separately.

Matrimonial assets can include:

  • Pensions.
  • Property.
  • Savings.
  • Investments.

A financial consent order is a document that makes the financial arrangements made by a couple who are divorcing or dissolving a civil partnership legally binding.

Financial orders also cover maintenance payments for any children and can cover ongoing living expenses for yourself.

Why do I need a financial order for divorce?

A final financial order on divorce has various benefits, including:

  • Protects ex-spouses from making a claim against each other in years to come. A financial consent order draws a line under the financial obligations partners have to each other by preventing former spouses from bringing an application against each other in years to come. Without one, either party could make financial claims against the other in the future.
  • Helps avoid difficulties when one party dies. The Supreme Court ruled in 2023 that financial claims on divorce cannot be pursued after the death of one of the spouses, highlighting the importance of resolving matters in good time.
  • Shields future marriages. If you remarry without having a financial order with your former spouse, you are no longer entitled to bring certain financial claims against them. However, as long as your ex-spouse remains unmarried, they will still have the same right to make a claim against you.

You might not think that you need a financial Court order if, for example, you reached a financial settlement in family mediation, signed a prenuptial agreement, or do not have any assets.

However, securing a financial consent order from the Court is necessary to ensure that your ex-partner does not try to renegotiate the settlement at a later date.

How do I agree on financial arrangements with my ex-partner?

The first step separating couples need to take towards agreeing on a financial settlement is for both to make full and frank financial disclosure.

This involves both partners independently providing information about their assets, finances and liabilities and is usually compiled in a financial statement (‘Form E’).

Form E requires each partner to provide information about the following:

  • Income.
  • Money in bank accounts and savings accounts.
  • Property.
  • Mortgages.
  • Endowments and insurance.
  • Shares and investments.
  • Cars.
  • Pensions.
  • Other assets.
  • Any liabilities.

The information required is less if you and your ex-partner have already agreed on how your financial assets will be split. However, it is still necessary for the Court to rule whether the order being requested is fair and reasonable.

It is advisable to get specialist family law legal advice when considering any financial Court order to ensure the agreement is in your best interests.

At Berlad Graham LLP, our friendly team has dealt with various financial orders and has a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes for clients.

If you need any advice on a financial settlement following a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, please contact one of our team, who will be happy to help.

To speak to our friendly, experienced, professional financial orders lawyers today, please call 0330 175 5655 or email info@bglaw.co.uk.

How long does it take to get a financial order?

Once a financial consent order has been submitted to the Court, it usually takes around one month for it to be approved.

You do not usually need to attend a Court hearing, rather your solicitor will ensure all the relevant documentation is completed and the Court has received the relevant paperwork.

A judge will approve your consent order to make it legally binding if they think it’s fair. If they do not think it’s fair, they can ask you to change it.

The Court cannot approve your consent order until after you have received your conditional order or decree nisi.

Financial Settlement Solicitors Uxbridge

Reaching agreement over financial matters is a key part of the divorce process and specialist legal advice is vital.

At Berlad Graham LLP, our family law team can advise on all aspects of financial settlements to secure the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Our friendly team has dealt with various financial orders and has a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes for clients.

If you are in the process of a divorce or a civil partnership dissolution and want to know where you stand financially, call one of our specialist family lawyers today on 0330 175 5655 or email info@bglaw.co.uk.