Financial Issues & Settlements
Reaching a financial settlement is always a cause of considerable concern to anybody experiencing the breakdown of a relationship. We have a great deal of experience in negotiating highly satisfactory financial settlements for our clients.
We are accustomed to dealing with clients with complex financial affairs. Our main concern is to ensure that robust negotiations are carried out, but that the proceedings are not unduly drawn out. If you have children, their welfare will be a very important consideration in the financial settlement.
Financial Settlements within Divorce Proceedings
Financial settlements can be achieved:
- Directly between the two of you
- At mediation
- By negotiation between solicitors
- By court order as a last resort
How do I know what a fair settlement is?
The court takes into account various factors when deciding what financial orders it should make. Solicitors must take into account the same factors when advising client upon a fair settlement. If you are discussing a possible settlement with your ex partner and would like advice please call us on 01626 33 33 80 or complete our Request a Call Back formand we call you back and give you general advice free of charge.
Do I have to disclose my financial circumstances?
The first step to a fair settlement is to ensure we have a clear and accurate picture of the income, assets and pensions of each partner. This process is called disclosure. Both partners must make a full and frank disclosure of their financial position before negotiations can start. Once we have all the details of the assets, and agreed their values, we can advise you as to what is a fair settlement. We will then open negotiations to reach settlement.
What if we have already reached an agreement?
Most cases are settled by negotiation between the couple and their lawyers. It may be that you have already reached an agreement between you before visiting your lawyers. In these cases, we will advise you as to whether the settlement is fair based upon the information provided to us. We will then draft a Consent Order on your behalf setting out the agreement reached. This document is then signed by both parties and sent to the court for approval. Once approved, the agreement becomes legally binding.
What if we cannot reach an agreement?
It is sometimes the case that court proceedings have to be issued, either because a settlement cannot be reached or because the other party will not disclose their financial position. However, only a very few cases are actually resolved by a final hearing in front of a judge.In divorce, judicial separation or the dissolution of a civil partnership, the court has the power to make a variety of orders.
What factors should we consider?
The law sets out the criteria which must be taken into account when formulating financial settlements or making a final order. There is no codified formula for the division of assets - it is a discretionary system. The primary consideration of the court is the welfare of any dependent child or children. The courts must also take into account, in respect of spouses and civil partners, your income and earning capacity, your savings, your housing needs, your pensions, the duration of the marriage or civil partnership, your overall contributions, your health and any other circumstances of the case. The court is required to balance the criteria when considering the claims of each of the partners.
Financial Settlements without Divorce Proceedings
Where divorce proceedings are not yet contemplated or the parties were never married, the financial settlement should be recorded in a Separation Agreement. At Linnitts Solicitors we offer a Fixed Fee Separation Agreement.
To book an appointment call Newton Abbot 01626 33 33 80 or complete our Request a Call Back form and we will call you back, at a time to suit you, free of charge.