Money matters in divorce

The Decree Absolute legally ends the marriage but it doesn't end the financial commitments between the couple. So, it is very important that your financial arrangements are resolved at the same time.

The Decree Absolute legally ends the marriage but it doesn't end the financial commitments between the couple. So, it is very important that your financial arrangements are resolved at the same time as your divorce or legal separation.

Your financial agreement should be formalised in a Court Order, only then is the agreement binding, and if one person defaults on any part of the agreement, steps can be taken to enforce the Court Order.

Also, if in the future, you come into an inheritance your ex could make a claim against those funds at any time, unless you have a Divorce Financial Order from the Court in place.

The Court always retains the power to approve the Financial Order or not. The Court is not there just to rubber stamp a financial agreement, it has to ensure that it is fair and reasonable, taking into account all the circumstances of your case.

To find out how a Financial Order from the Court could help you deal with your divorce finances see Clean Break Orders and Consent Orders explained.

How do I resolve divorce money matters?

You should consider Family Mediation and/or our Divorce Solicitors can help guide you through the process and negotiate a divorce financial settlement agreement on your behalf.

What factors does the court consider?

The law in England and Wales concerning financial disputes is discretionary and therefore uncertain. Each divorce case is dealt with on its own facts with first consideration always given to the welfare of any minor children.

The Court will also consider:

  • the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each person has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
  • the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that each person has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
  • the age of each person and the duration of the relationship, the Court generally take into account periods of living together.
  • any physical or mental disability of either of the persons.
  • the contributions each person has made or is likely to make in the foreseeable future to the welfare of the family.
  • the conduct of the parties involved (in exceptional circumstances).
  • the value of any benefit which a person will lose the chance of acquiring by reason of the separation.

When applying the above factors the Courts first priority is to meet both persons’ needs. Only if needs can be met will the Court entertain more complex arguments about how financial and property assets were acquired, and if they should be treated as matrimonial property or not.

How long does the divorce process take?

This depends on a number of factors for example, whether you have been able to reach an agreement in Family Mediation or whether financial proceedings are contested through the Courts.

As a general rule Court proceedings can take 12-18 months whereas negotiated settlements can be reached relatively quickly.

Our highly experienced team of Divorce Solicitors and legal specialists can guide you through each step of the process. We pride ourselves in providing a commercial ‘no nonsense’ approach with the aim of keeping costs proportionate to your case.

About Co-op Legal Services

The family law team at Co-op Legal Services includes specialist Family Solicitors, Divorce Solicitors and Children Law Solicitors with Resolution accreditation and accredited experts in child abduction, co-habitation, domestic abuse, property disputes, high net worth money matters and financial advocacy.

Resolution is a national organisation of Family Lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family problems.

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.

As part of the Co-op Group, our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.

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