Couples looking to separate can look to advice from family law experts who can help the difficult process move forward more seamlessly.
From financial assets, to future shared contact arrangements and the marital home, there are a number of important considerations to look after when it comes to separating, so it’s important to have full disclosure and to split assets fairly.
Relationship breakdowns can be distressing and complicated, with plenty of difficult decisions and arrangements to think about and implement, so seeking legal advice from specialists can provide support during an undoubtedly stressful time.
From listing outgoings, to providing full disclosure and splitting assets fairly, these suggestions from family lawyers at JMP Solicitors aim to inform separating couples of the financial options open to them for a more seamless transition.
Mikaela Rogerson, family law solicitor at JMP Solicitors, said: “To ease conflict in the often-turbulent situation of divorce, it is useful to seek legal guidance when it comes to settling finances and making arrangements at an already difficult time.
“We’ve compiled a list of valuable considerations to minimise conflict in divorce or separation, from negotiation advice to come to mutually beneficial conclusions, to managing outgoings when it comes to the division of matrimonial assets.”
Here are the seven tips for settling finances in divorce:
1. Reach your own agreement if possible
It’s important to always try and reach an agreement with your ex in the first instance and mediation can help you stay focused on the issues to be determined. If you can reach an agreement between yourselves the process will be cheaper and quicker. If this is not possible and you end up in court, it is worth considering that a judge may impose a decision on you that neither of you are happy with.
2. Provide full and frank financial disclosure
Always provide full and frank financial disclosure – the courts expect parties to exchange financial information voluntarily in order for each party to be aware of the others financial position. This enables issues to be identified and ensures a fair settlement – it is never a good idea to conceal assets.
3. Never try and hurt your ex-partner
During the divorce process it is important to stay amicable for a smoother separation – in order to remain civil. It is recommended to never hide or dispose of assets, run up debts on joint accounts or freeze joint access accounts.
4. Check for entitled benefits
The courts expect that each party will maximise their income, so it is important to check that you are receiving any benefits you may be entitled to. The courts have to consider whether a clean break between parties is achievable and they are looking for parties to become financially independent as soon as is practicable.
5. List all outgoings
It is recommended that you write a list of outgoings and future needs, to help you focus on what division of matrimonial assets you reasonably need in order to be financially independent, and be sure to keep this in mind during negotiations.
6. The court will always consider the children first
When determining the fairest way to split assets, the courts will consider various factors including the age of the parties, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage – but their first consideration is always the welfare of any minor child of the family so it’s important to remember this during proceedings.
7. Always seek legal advice
Financial matters can be complicated, so it’s recommended that you seek legal advice to help reach an agreement with your ex and ensure you have a solicitor convert your agreement into a consent order to be approved by the courts. While a divorce proceeding may not always reach court, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure you are receiving a fair deal regarding the separation of assets. It will also dismiss any future claims your ex may have against you in the future.