The end of a relationship is not just emotional, but it can create practical issues that will need to be resolved. Two major ones are how the parties will support themselves after the separation and the care of any dependent children of the family.
Our specialist family law team can assist you through this difficult and often complicated process and will tailor our advice to your specific circumstances to ensure the best outcome for you and your family's needs.
How Do You Reach a Financial Arrangement?
It is always advisable that any decisions relating to the distribution of a couple's wealth and assets following the end of a relationship are documented correctly. Even when couples have an amicable separation and can agree on how finances should be organised, this should still be documented as a Consent Order by a solicitor and processed through the courts.
Using a Solicitor
If the parties are unable to sort out their finances between themselves, then a solicitor can help them come to an agreement. This can be done by non-contentious methods such as mediation, negotiation or arbitration or otherwise via the courts.
The agreement will be decided based on the unique facts relevant to that case and will be based on the principle of fairness. However, the interests of any children involved in the relationship will be regarded as one of the highest priorities in deciding how the couple's finances will be divided.
How is a Fair Agreement Reached?
If the courts are involved in the financial agreement, they will look at a range of issues to determine the terms of the agreement, including:
- What each party earns and what their future/earning potential is likely to be
- The age and health of both parties
- What assets each party has
- How long the parties have been married (cohabitation periods before marriage are included in this)
- The needs and standard of living of each party
- If there are children involved and their relevant needs
The Sharing Principle
If there are sufficient funds to cover the needs of both parties, then generally the sharing principle will be followed, and the assets are divided equally. Often, however, this is not the case and the finances do not cover two households. Generally, the financially weaker party in these cases will be favoured in the split.
What Items are Included in a Financial Agreement?
The parties must guarantee they are making full and frank financial disclosure to ensure that a fair agreement is reached for both parties. The following are the main items that need to be taken into account:
- The family home (as well as any other property owned by either party)
- Other valuable assets, including those abroad
- Stocks and shares
- Pensions and savings
- Debts including mortgages and private school fees
Contact our Divorce Lawyers, London
Our specialist team can support you through this difficult time and their tailored approach for each client will address the personal circumstances that are unique to each situation. We can guide you through the decisions that need to be made in relation to financial arrangements to ensure an outcome that is best for you and your family.