Financial Settlements & Arrangements following Separation
Dissolving a marriage or civil partnership can put a great deal of emotional strain on you, so agreeing a financial settlement that you are happy with is important for your peace of mind and to know that your future security and wellbeing are taken care of.
The family law solicitors at Clifford Johnston & Co. can negotiate a financial settlement on your behalf to ensure you receive the best deal possible to help you move on with your life and to provide you with financial security both now and in the future. We have a wealth of experience in this area and are used to managing the many different issues and complexities that can arise, helping to minimise the stress that results from a separation or divorce.
If you need help with any aspect of your financial settlement or if you are not getting the right results with your current solicitor then contact us today and speak to one of our family law specialists.
What is a Financial Settlement and What do they cover?
When your relationship ends your shared finances have to be separated fairly and in line with the current legislation. Any property, investments, savings and pensions that you and your partner have may be divided, but the process can often be complicated, especially if the divorcing couple do not agree on how best to share these assets.
There are numerous options for how to make or receive financial payments after a divorce including:
- Lump sum payments
- Transfer of Ownership of a property
- Maintenance payments
- The sharing of any pensions
Everyone’s circumstances are different and we will advise you based on our legal knowledge and substantial experience in this area.
The key issues to be considered include:
- The needs of any children.
- The financial needs of both parties.
- The current earnings, potential future earnings and assets of each party.
- The contributions each of you has made to the partnership, both financial and non-financial such as running a home and caring for children.
- How long you have been married and how long you have cohabited
The financial settlement is seen as a separate process to your divorce and a consent order, which is signed by both parties, will make it legally binding upon receiving your Decree Absolute in the divorce proceedings.
Will I have to attend Court?
We often find that clients are understandably concerned about having to go to court to agree their financial settlement. However with the help of our solicitors, court proceedings are frequently avoided as we place great emphasis on reaching an amicable agreement through negotiation and mediation. Our solicitors are highly skilled at helping clients come to a satisfactory resolution in a collaborative way, which not only minimises the stress and acrimony but also keeps legal costs down.
Once any agreement is reached, it will be approved by a court to ensure its legality and fairness to both parties but you will not need to attend.
In the event that an agreement can’t be reached and an application is made to the court, we will still proactively try to reach an amicable resolution and often achieve this before the final hearing and a decision from the judge is necessary.
The Courts Process
If court proceedings are the only option to reach a financial agreement with both parties, it will take place in three stages:
First Appointment - Directions, timings and the evidence and information required by the court will be laid out at this initial stage.
Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing - At this point, the separating parties are encouraged to come to an agreement between themselves and most cases now reach a settlement.
Final Hearing - Having examined all the evidence and financial disclosures from both parties, the judge will then make a decision on how best to divide any wealth and assets and decide how financial payments should be made.
What will happen to my home?
If your house was owned jointly, which is almost always the case in divorce proceedings, it will be included in any financial negotiations as an asset of the marriage or civil partnership. If you wish to keep the property, you will need to have enough in other assets which can be transferred to your spouse to effectively ‘purchase’ their share. If there are not enough assets to keep the property then it may have to be sold and the proceeds split. The housing needs of any children, and their primary carer, are of paramount importance when considering issues around the home.
Who is responsible for paying legal fees?
Each party is usually responsible for covering their own legal fees but in exceptional circumstances the court may find justification for the costs to be paid by the other party.
How can Clifford Johnston & Co help?
We can advise you on all matters relating to your financial settlement and will work tirelessly on your behalf to provide you with maximum support and secure you the best financial outcome. We will use our extensive expertise and knowledge in this area to help you assess your priorities and unravel the individual complexities of your case. Our service to you will include:
- Advising on your financial settlement and the best payment options for you.
- Leading on the negotiation and mediation between you and your spouse or partner.
- Preparing all paperwork including information for the courts, where required.
- Preparing and drafting your consent order when agreement has been reached.
Along with your financial settlement, our family law specialists can help on each and every aspect of your divorce so for more advice contact us today.
What should I do next?
If you need legal advice on any aspect of your financial settlement contact us with brief details about your situation, your name and your contact details, including the best number to call you on.
Contact our Financial Settlement Agreement Experts
At Clifford Johnston & Co. we are here to help you reach a clear and amicable financial agreement as swiftly as possible so that you can move on with your life.
As one of the leading law firms across Stockport and Manchester, we will provide clear, friendly and straightforward advice that you can trust. So for legal support from the local experts contact us today and see how we can help.