As if the emotional turmoil of divorce or separation is not enough, you will probably have worries about whether you can keep your home and how much money you will have to live on as well. Getting professional advice will help you sort out your finances fairly and help prevent problems in the future.
Even if your split is amicable, or your affairs are reasonably straightforward, you should get a Consent Order drawn up to record any financial agreement. A court order is the only way to make your agreement legally binding and to achieve a clean break. If you don’t have one, you may find your ex-spouse or civil partner is able to make a financial claim against you in future.
A Consent Order is a legally binding document that has to be written by a solicitor. Typically, it will include what will happen to any property, savings, shares, businesses and pensions. It may also include child and spousal maintenance provisions and will dismiss all other claims that you and your spouse or civil partner have against each other so that a full and final settlement can be reached
As the name suggests, Consent Orders have to be fully agreed by both sides. If you can’t reach agreement on the terms of the Consent Order you may benefit from professional help. We have a number of highly trained and experienced mediators and collaborative lawyers who specialise in family matters and can assist you whether your case is simple or complicated.
If an agreement cannot be reached between you, we can advise you on all of the options available to you including mediation, collaborative law, solicitor correspondence/negotiation and arbitration.
Changing or Challenging Financial Agreements After Separation
Circumstances can change, and it is always possible that at some point in the future, you may need to revisit the financial arrangements in your divorce or separation agreement. Whether you are paying or receiving maintenance, we can help you negotiate changes to your settlement.
Most divorce settlements involve a split between marital assets, such as property and cash, and ongoing maintenance to cover the cost of childcare. Losing your job and not being able to get another one or falling ill can make it difficult to make payments or mean you need more money to look after your children.
When this happens, the best approach is always to try and agree on changes with your ex. If you are struggling to do this, we have a number of expert family mediators who will be able to help.
If all else fails, as a last resort, you can make an application to the court to increase or reduce the payments. You will need to be able to show a significant change in your circumstances for the court to agree, or demonstrate that the settlement was not fair and reasonable when you went into it.
We try to resolve matters without resorting to court proceedings wherever possible, however, if it is necessary to make an application to court then our solicitors can help you navigate the process and ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved.
We will ensure our advice is cost-effective and work with you to find a negotiated settlement wherever possible, avoiding the stress and expense of having to go to court. We frequently work with other professionals such as financial advisors and pension experts to ensure that your settlement is a fair one.