How do I deal with my financial affairs if I get divorced?
When a relationship breaks down a couple’s minds will often turn to the question of how their property, and income, will be divided upon separation. However, there is no requirement for you to do so and, if you choose, matters can be left undetermined.
However, family solicitors will generally advise clients to deal with such matters sooner, rather than later. The following are some common issues that arise from delay in resolving financial arrangements after divorce
You reached an agreement, at separation, but your ex-partner, subsequently changes their mind.
Unless the terms of a financial agreement have been set out within a court order either party to the marriage is free to file an application at court for a ‘financial order’. There is no deadline (or limitation period) save in limited circumstances, resulting in the possibility of an application 10, 20, 30 years (or more) after the divorce.
Whilst, the court will factor in any agreements that you have reached they will not be bound by the agreement and may come to different conclusion about how your finances should be arranged.
You did not discuss the issue, because you did not have valuable property, and did not see the benefit of spending the money on obtaining an order.
We are often called upon to advise clients who, whilst they had little at the time of separation, have since improved their circumstances and find themselves in receipt of a demand from their ex-partner or their solicitor.
As above, without an order preventing future applications (often referred to as a ‘clean break’) it is open to either party to seek to address the issue. This can lead to increased legal costs, with solicitors often being called upon to entangle the parties financial arrangements in the period after the marriage came to an end.
There was no agreement and you are looking to marry your new partner.
If you remarry, following a divorce, this can have a significant impact on your ability to ask the court to make a financial order.
If have not dealt with your financial affairs, following breakdown of the marriage, then you should seek independent legal advice before remarrying.
If you would like advice following a recent separation, or any other family matter, please feel free to contact our Family Team by telephone on 02920 345511, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.