The breakdown of a marriage is undoubtedly a stressful time. Lack of knowledge of the process and not knowing what financial remedies might be available will only add to your worries.
So here’s what to expect; one party will begin the proceedings by submitting a divorce application (the divorce application can also be made jointly). During the divorce process, the parties are looking to settle financial matters and obtain relevant financial remedies.
Financial cases can unfortunately be complex. There is often a family home, pensions, savings, investments and business interests to consider, as well as debts, tax liabilities and ongoing financial provision for spouses and any children.
The court can make interim orders for maintenance, which are particularly important where one party is on a substantially lower income than the other. It might be necessary for one party to seek a maintenance order once the divorce application has been issued.
In some cases, we find that one party runs the family finances while the other has little insight or knowledge. But both parties are under a duty to disclose his or her financial position to the court in a full and frank manner, with a view to a settlement being negotiated. The implications of non-disclosure can be severe and in the most serious cases it may result in court orders being set aside.
It is important to establish what the assets are and their true value. Pensions and business assets might need further scrutiny and it could prove necessary to appoint an expert to value these assets.
Once a financial settlement is reached, it is important to consider whether this ends your financial obligations to one another.
People often don’t appreciate the importance of a clean break court order when they divorce. Without it, you run the risk of your ex making a financial claim several years after you have divorced.
A consent order will set out the financial agreement and formally dismiss the right of either party to make a further claim for income and capital. It is important to know when a clean break consent order is appropriate.
Divorce is complex and can be difficult for everyone involved. No two cases are the same, so it is important to get good legal advice at the outset as this can make a vast difference to the overall outcome.
A specialist family lawyer should provide advice tailored to your personal and financial circumstances.