Personal

Matters

Divorce and Finances

Sorting out finances is often the most combative issue to arise during divorce or civil partnership dissolution proceedings – who gets to keep the family home? Should you share your pensions? Do you need to agree spousal maintenance payments? It is completely normal to feel stressed, confused and even angry about the situation. However, trying to adopt an open and cooperative attitude to negotiations with your ex-partner is usually the best approach.

At Preston Redman, our divorce solicitors can help you navigate the tricky avenues of financial settlement discussions. With decades of combined experience to back up our skills, we firmly understand the challenges, risks and opportunities you may face as you seek to divide your money and property with your ex-partner.

With us on your side, there is little chance that you will have to fight your corner in court. Our expertise lies in negotiating amicable agreements that work in the long-term out of court, often using methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation. We can also represent you during any court Financial Order proceedings where an out of court settlement is not possible.

For further information or to set up a confidential initial consultation with a member of our family law team, give us a call at our offices or email office@prestonredman.co.uk. Our clients come to us from across Bournemouth, Poole and the wider Dorset area for our legal knowledge and friendly, personal approach.

What our divorce solicitors in Bournemouth can do for you

It is often said that going through a divorce is one of the most stressful life events you will ever face, but we believe that it doesn’t have to be that way. The help of a divorce lawyer who has specialist skills in negotiation can make all the difference.

Our priority is to help you split your finances in a way that is fair and beneficial to you. In the majority of cases, we are able to come to a settlement without having to resort to court proceedings, saving you considerable time, costs and stress.

Our Family Law Team is headed up by Tim Flower, an experienced family lawyer, a Partner within our firm, and an accredited specialist of the Law Society Family Law Advanced scheme. Tim is also our Head of Litigation so has a high level of expertise in contentious family law matters including financial disputes upon divorce.

We are members of Resolution, an organisation of legal professionals dedicated to promoting constructive methods of family law dispute resolution. Our team includes qualified mediator, Mark Hensleigh, who has substantial expertise helping individuals discuss their financial arrangements while defusing unnecessary conflict.

What is a divorce financial settlement?

A divorce financial settlement is an agreement you and your ex-partner should try to make to divide and arrange your finances upon divorce or dissolution.

Any agreement you come to out of court can be made legally binding by applying to court to turn it into a Consent Order.

If you cannot come to an agreement out of court, you may apply to court for an independent decision from a family judge. The order they make is called a Financial Order.

What should a divorce financial settlement include?

Your divorce financial settlement should set out exactly what should happen to all of your financial resources, including assets you own in your sole name (but not usually assets acquired before you got married or entered into the civil partnership).

The financial matters covered by the financial settlement can include:

  • What should happen to the family home
  • What should happen to other properties, such as second homes, holiday homes and buy-to-lets
  • The division of money, savings, shares and investments
  • The division of debts
  • The division of pensions
  • The division of personal belongings, such as pets, cars and furniture
  • What should happen to interests in family businesses
  • The agreement of child maintenance payments
  • The agreement of spousal maintenance payments

The divorce financial settlement should also contain a ‘clean break’ provision that severs your ongoing financial obligations to one another. If you need to agree ongoing spousal maintenance, the clean break provision should only cover capital claims, otherwise, it should be a full clean break provision that prevents any and all future claims.

If you do not include a clean break provision, your ex-partner could make a financial claim against you in the future. The courts have seen cases where a claim was made many years after the divorce was finalised, usually after one party comes into some money (for example, by building a successful business). It is therefore essential to consult a divorce solicitor to prevent this possibility from arising.

How are finances divided in a divorce?

Divorce financial arrangements actually happen in parallel to the procedure of legally dissolving your marriage or civil partnership.

While getting a divorce or dissolution is mostly a paper exercise that involves submitting various forms to court (so long as neither party objects), the division of finances requires discussion and cooperation.

The law states that the division of finances upon divorce or civil partnership dissolution must be fair. This means that you and your ex-partner must be open and honest about the extent of your financial resources. The starting point for the division of finances is always a 50-50 split. However, you should then take into account a number of factors to determine the final split, such as:

  • The financial resources, income and earning capacity of the parties, both now and in the foreseeable future
  • The needs and obligations of the parties, both now and in the foreseeable future
  • The needs of any children to the union
  • Your ages and the duration of the marriage
  • Your standards of living prior to the breakdown of the union
  • Any physical or mental disability of either party
  • The contributions each party has made to the family, including non-financial contributions such as looking after the home or being primary caregiver to the children
  • Whether either party will lose a benefit, such as pension entitlements
  • The conduct of either party (but only in exceptionally rare circumstances. For example, divorcing due to adultery usually will not affect the financial settlement)

The final asset split could be anything – 60/40 or 70/30 – it all depends on your individual circumstances.

Why choose Preston Redman’s divorce solicitors?

Our divorce lawyers are proud to offer a warm, professional approach to divorce and financial matters to individuals across Bournemouth, Poole and the wider Dorset area.

Whatever your personal circumstances, we want to you feel supported and comfortable enough to talk openly about your needs and expectations from your divorce financial settlement. That way we can carefully tailor our advice and approach to negotiations to secure you the best possible outcome.

We are members of the Law Society Family Law Advanced Accreditation Scheme for our recognised expertise in complex financial matters. Amongst our talented team, our Head of Family Law, Tim Flower is an accredited specialist of the Family Law Panel. Two members of our team, Mark Hensleigh and Helen Davies, are members of Resolution. Mark is also a qualified mediator.

Preston Redman is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Get in touch with our divorce solicitors in Bournemouth, Dorset

For further information or to set up a confidential initial consultation with a member of our family law team, give us a call at our offices or email office@prestonredman.co.uk. Our clients come to us from across Bournemouth, Poole and the wider Dorset area for our legal knowledge and friendly, personal approach.