The division of assets, including the implementation of financial provision for the future, often ends up being the most contentious and complicated aspect of a divorce or separation. It’s where parties often reach a deadlock, meaning the right legal guidance is essential.
Many couples initially decide not to focus on their financial affairs, prioritising getting the divorce or separation over the line instead. Some want to believe that time will resolve any outstanding issues, but in our experience, this isn’t the case.
In fact, it is vitally important that your financial affairs are fully resolved before the divorce or separation is finalised, or you may find yourself negotiating with your partner in the future, having lost of number of your rights to what were previously ‘collective’ assets.
How can we help?
We routinely advise on divorce and separation across the full spectrum of wealth and financial complexity. Whether your divorce or separation involves businesses assets, investments, trusts, property portfolios or even farmland, our family law team has the skill and experience to handle it.
Once we’ve helped you to reach a settlement, it is crucial for that settlement to be properly documented and formalised. Some people are happy to do this by way of a Separation Agreement – a simple written agreement between the parties detailing how their financial assets are to be dealt with – and we can help to draft and negotiate this.
However, a word of caution: whilst a Separation Agreement records the parties’ intentions, it does not have the same finality as a court order, meaning a court could potentially depart from the terms of the Separation Agreement in the future (for example, if your ex-partner decides they are no longer happy with the terms of the Separation Agreement and challenge it in court).
For this reason, once the financial terms are agreed, we would strongly recommend that they are incorporated into a ‘Consent Order’. This is a legal document that a judge can review and, provided that they are satisfied with the terms, formally approve. We would be very happy to help you to draft and file a Consent Order, and make any required representations on your behalf in court, should the need arise.
If you and your partner are unable to reach a compromise without court intervention, then an application will need to be made to the court for ‘financial remedy’. The financial remedy process generally involves three court hearings, during which the parties (or their lawyers) will make representations to the judge. The judge will expect the parties to continue trying to agree a financial settlement throughout the process, but should this fail, the judge will then make a final decision as to how the assets should be split. We can guide you throughout this entire process and make representations in court on your behalf, should you wish.
Get in touch
For further information about our services or to make an appointment please contact: