Divorce and Separation Finance Advice
The breakdown of a marriage is a time of uncertainty, not only emotionally, but financially. Splitting finances in divorce can often make the whole process drag out due to disagreements and disputes.
At Crisp & Co, we believe in keeping divorce simple and straightforward. So, with a specialist team of solicitors on your side, we’ll help you reach an agreement with minimal fuss.
When a marriage or civil partnership falls apart, securing a financial agreement with your partner can prove arduous. Arguments get heated, and can go back and forth for months to no avail. That’s why at Crisp and Co, we believe in resolution. Finding a solution that works for our clients and making it official in a quick and efficient way, allowing you to focus on yourself.
Your Questions Answered
Why choose Crisp & Co for divorce finance advice?
We know that when it comes to divorce or dissolution, our clients want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible so they can start rebuilding their life. However, we also know how crucial financial settlements are in providing stability, especially when children are involved. That’s why we’ll never rush you to a decision. Instead, we’ll offer practical solutions and pragmatic advice tailored to your needs, actively making suggestions that work for you. When you instruct our financial solicitors, we’ll treat you with the care and dedication you deserve. We believe that where we can save a divorcing couple time and stress, we should. And that’s exactly what we do, every day, helping clients from all walks of life.
How are divorce finances settled at Crisp & Co?
At Crisp & Co, our solicitors are expert negotiators. Fully qualified in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, you can trust us to give our all in resolving a finance-based dispute. With a strategic approach tailored to your situation, we’ll use strong negotiation techniques, encouraging trust and compromise from both sides in order to reach an agreement. When it comes to divorce or dissolution, disagreements regarding splitting finances can often cause an already stressful situation to escalate further. That’s why we are firm believers in mediation.
What is a financial agreement?
A financial agreement is a legally binding document which is created after a divorcing couple have reached an agreement on a range of important issues. This includes child maintenance, spousal maintenance and the division of property.
How can divorce affect your finances?
Divorce is a life-changing process. Naturally, your finances will be affected. But what exactly should you take into consideration regarding post-divorce finance?
- Immediate financial concerns - When a couple has been together for a considerable amount of time, the chances are that they rely on each other financially in some way or another. Therefore, planning for the immediate impact of the separation is a smart move. From our vast experience assisting couples through the divorce process, we can provide you with bespoke advice from the earliest stage of proceedings.
- Maintenance after divorce - With such a significant change, you’ll want to plan how to structure your finances over the coming few years. How much will your ex-partner be contributing? Where children are involved, this information is vital for future planning and security. Separation might be tough, but you should never have to worry not being able to support your children if you choose to go your own ways.
- Property & Divorce - How do you own your property? Are you joint tenants or tenants in common? How will the profits be split if you sell the house? These are all essential considerations, as divorce related property matters vary from case to case. If you’re considering separation, our divorce solicitors can advise you on your unique situation and help you understand your legal position.
- Pensions & Divorce - Pensions will be divided according to your unique circumstances and can depend on how long you have been married and your respective ages. While pensions may not play a significant role in a divorce between younger divorcees, if you and your partner are aged 50 or older, it will be necessary to look at how your pension will be affected by your divorce.
What are my financial rights in a divorce?
While your financial rights will vary depending on your situation, generally speaking, the court will give priority to whoever will continue caring for the children full time. In cases where children are living with one parent and that parent earns less, has lower mortgage capacity and has less pension provision , they may well be entitled to a greater share of the finances. So, while the law of dividing assets is complex and changeable, courts will prioritise the child’s welfare above everything.
How much maintenance is a spouse entitled to following divorce?
Though this will depend on the situation, after children have been considered the court will evaluate your spouse’s needs, assets and earning capacity, their standard of living prior to separation and any other special needs they may have.
What happens if my spouse refuses to pay maintenance?
If your arrangement resulted in a court order and your spouse is still refusing to pay, you can apply to the court to enforce the order. One route of enforcement is to apply for an Attachment of Earnings Order, so if your spouse refuses to pay, your maintenance is deducted from their salary at source before they receive it. If the financial arrangement was not made official through a court order, you will have to go to the court and apply for an order.
How are finances usually divided in a divorce?
The aim is to divide the assets as fairly as possible. This may not mean a 50/50 split, but it is essential that parties are left in equal standing and both breadwinner and homemaker are treated equally. As stated above, children will be considered first and foremost and must be provided with accommodation with the primary carer.
After ensuring that both parties reasonable needs have been met financially, where there is a surplus, the court will go on to divide the remaining assets. To do this the court will consider matrimonial assets (assets bought during the marriage from the joint earnings of both parties) and non-matrimonial property (assets obtainedoutside of the marriage). While most assets will be matrimonial property, any gifts or inheritance from one side of the family will generally be seen as non-matrimonial in the first instance
The court will also seek to achieve a financial separation from both parties, known commonly as a clean break. This means that while one partner may be contributing financially for child maintenance, there will be no more financial links between the couple.
What happens to maintenance pay if one of us remarries?
If your former spouse has a financial order against you that requires you to pay a certain amount in maintenance, this does not change if you remarry. However, if you’re struggling to afford these payments, you can apply to the court for a variation.
Are business assets included in a financial settlement?
Yes. Business assets form part of the assets to be discussed during negotiations and need to be fully disclosed beforehand, but division of these assets will be based on your individual situation. While it may be you who set up the business individually, your partners contribution to the marriage could be seen as equally important, and in this case, each partner could claim entitlement to half of the value of the business. However, each situation is different, so it’s vital we as your solicitors are fully aware of all business assets involved in order to assess how they will be divided.
Does it take a long time to deal with the finances?
Once an Application has been made to the Court to deal with the family’s finances, a strict timetable is put in place.
The Court gives directions as to what financial information is required and will also set a date for a First Appointment to ensure adequate disclosure of both party’s financial situation has been or will be made.
A date will then usually be scheduled for a Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment (FDA) when consideration is given as to whether the financial issues can be settled without the need for a full blown trial. Alternatively, if settlement cannot be reached, then a date is set for a full Hearing of the financial claims.
At any point during this process, the couple can reach agreement between themselves (obviously with the benefit of legal advice) and bypass the steps in the process that do not apply to their particular circumstances.
It is not possible to provide an exact time scale for how long it will take to deal with the financial issues as each client has a unique set of circumstances. At Crisp & Co, we endeavour to provide our clients with realistic time estimates from the very outset and keep our clients fully updated as matters progress.
What financial information will I need to give?
In sorting out the division of the family’s finances, a lot of information is required from both partners, so that a full picture of the family’s financial situation can be made and a fair arrangement can be reached, whether by agreement or by the Court.
Each party is obliged to complete comprehensive details of their respective financial position in a Form E. The exact information that is needed depends entirely on your unique circumstances, so it is impossible to list these all here.
It is vital that the partners respective legal advisors have a clear understanding of the family’s financial position in order to provide the best advice in relation to any proposed arrangements over the finances and if an agreement cannot be reached then the Court needs this information to make a decision on the division of the family’s assets and liabilities.
At Crisp and Co, family is in the heart. When you instruct us, we’ll give our all to ensuring your settlement is fair and you’re fully informed regarding your future finances. Just give us a call on 020 3281 7887
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