Legal Assistance During Financial Separation

Getting divorced and need to separate your finances? Financial separation can be complicated and stressful. Our solicitors will assist you in resolving financial disputes with expert legal assistance. Call GoodLaw Solicitors LLP in Hove. We serve clients across Brighton, Hove, Sussex and Surrey.

Making Arrangements for Your Children

As with many aspects of family law, making arrangements for your children following a divorce or separation can be an extremely emotional experience. In these cases, the emphasis of the law is that it is better for the parents to agree to the arrangements between themselves rather than involve the court, because the parents after all, know what is best for their children. In some cases, these discussions can become heated and uncomfortable and so, it may become necessary to involve a solicitor or mediator to assist.

In situations where an agreement is not possible, or if the matter is urgent and a child is at a risk of significant harm, we can also make an application to the court. As with much of our work, we aim to resolve a vast majority of our cases without the need to attend or even involve the court, and crucially, without causing great distress to the children concerned. We can, of course, also deal with matters on an emergency basis where necessary, and take steps to ensure your children remain safe and protected.

We are also proud members of the Association of Lawyers for Children.

Financial Separation Solicitors

In many cases, the emotional impact is not the only thing to consider upon divorce or separation. When a relationship breaks down, you can be left financially vulnerable as well.

At GoodLaw Solicitors LLP, we can help ease your concerns by giving you early advice on what to expect and the arrangements that can be put in place both during or after the divorce or separation process. This can include support for yourself, support for your children or advice about what may happen to the family home.

By taking this proactive approach, we are able to achieve financial settlements in the vast majority of cases we deal with, without the parties ever needing to step foot in court. Our knowledge and expertise means that we are able to work alongside other professionals such as mediators and financial advisors to see the bigger picture and ensure that our advice is tailored to meet your needs – both now and in the future. This allows you to focus on the more important things in life and move forward safe in the knowledge that you have financial security for yourself and your family.

However, inevitably, in some cases it is not possible to resolve matters outside of court and it may become necessary to issue a court application to secure the financial support that you need. If that proves to be the case, we will continue to take a proactive approach to resolving the dispute, minimising the potentially lengthy and costly court process. In appropriate cases, we may also be able to fix the cost for each stage of the court process so you can be sure of where you stand with our fees.

For more information about Financial Remedy Orders, please contact us or download our guide here.

Finances Fact Sheet

Financial Provision on Divorce or Dissolution

Financial remedy orders are orders relating to money, property or pensions that can be made by a court on divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, judicial separation or nullity.

There is no standard formula for calculating the appropriate financial provision on divorce or dissolution. Instead, the court has a duty to consider all the circumstances of the case and to take into account a range of specific statutory factors. The court’s first consideration is the welfare of any child or children of the family under the age of 18. Thereafter, it will also consider the factors set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, or Schedule 5 Part 5 of the Civil Partnership Act as summarised below:

1. The capital and income resources available to the parties, either existing or reasonably foreseeable.

2. The reasonable financial needs of the parties, including:

      • Their standard of living
      • Their ages and the length of the marriage
      • Any health concerns or disabilities

3. The contributions made by each party (financial or otherwise)

4. Any benefit either party will lose as a result of the divorce (such as a spouse’s pension).

5. In exceptional cases, the conduct of either or both parties.

Division of Parties’ Resources

When considering these factors, judges have a wide judicial discretion which may lead to different judges reaching different solutions on identical facts. However, a line of cases (known as precedent cases) has established over many years, meaning that, generally speaking, the court will take a standard approach to the way it considers each case.

The starting point is that assets and income/savings accrued during a marriage/civil partnership (referred to here as matrimonial assets) are divided equally. This is known as the sharing principle. The family home is normally considered a matrimonial asset even if it was owned by one party prior to the marriage or civil partnership and is usually divided equally. Where an equal division of all matrimonial assets is sufficient to meet the needs of each party and any children, it is often the case that this will be endorsed as the appropriate settlement.

Where needs cannot be met by an equal division, the court has discretion to order an unequal division of the matrimonial assets or use of non matrimonial assets (such as inherited or pre acquired assets) to meet the shortfall. However, this is limited wherever possible, and in some cases, division may be delayed until a later date, such as once any children finish their education or reach the age of 18.

Maintenance

Where possible, the court will seek to achieve a clean break between parties, so that they are no longer financially dependent on each other. However, if there are insufficient assets to achieve a clean break, one party may pay ongoing maintenance to the other for such a period as the court considers reasonable to achieve financial independence. It is rare for maintenance to be paid indefinitely, and usually it will cease when the receiving party remarries, lives with another person for more than 6 months or once any children reach the age of 18. The court may also fix a shorter period for maintenance, known as an adjustment period, to allow the receiving party to adjust to their new circumstances.

When deciding the level of maintenance to award, the court will consider the reasonable needs of the receiving party, the standard of living during the marriage/civil partnership and the ability of the paying party to pay.

Free 30-minute initial consultation in qualifying circumstances.

GoodLaw Solicitors – Family Law Solicitors in Surrey & Sussex

Call us to discuss your requirements. Call 01273 956 270