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No-fault divorce – financial settlement explained

In April of 2022, the lengthy neither marriage became law, resulting in dramatic changes to the divorce laws. This was discussed in a recent blog post, so please go there for further information. UK Family Mediation Services Plymouth explain.

As part of the divorce procedure, decisions must be taken on the division of assets and liabilities. In addition to maintenance payments for children or living costs, spouses must consider the following:

  •   Debts, credit cards, and loans
  •   Investing and savings
  •   Any pensions or life insurance in place for the foreseeable future
  •   Real estate and contents
  •   Businesses
  •   Vehicles

It is referred to as a “financial settlement.” A consent order drafted by an attorney is rendered legally binding when the court authorises it.

What is the duration of a financial settlement?

How long it takes to reach a settlement often relies on the quality of the connection between the parties and the complexity of their finances.

If a settlement cannot be reached by mutual agreement or mediation by a lawyer, a court may need to issue a financial order to determine how your financial affairs are divided. The court will consider numerous factors, including earning ability and length of marriage, but children’s needs will always take precedence. For example, housing must be provided for both children and their primary carer.

Court proceedings are more expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, therefore we urge couples to avoid them if feasible. Legal Aid may be provided to assist pay the expenses of court proceedings if the relationship was abusive and contact between the parties is impossible.

What may you be eligible for?

There is an assumption that the assets will be divided equally, and that both the earner and homemaker would be treated similarly. It is up to the party that believes they are entitled to more than 50% to determine whether any of the legal reasons apply to their particular circumstance. Additional considerations, including as prenuptial agreements and the requirements of the children, might impact the distribution of assets.

Where does one begin?

We recommend that couples begin their financial planning by considering the following:

  •   Accounts, loans, and credit cards held jointly You may need to notify your bank of your divorce and setup separate bank accounts for pay checks and salary. Consider freezing credit cards to avoid dishonest conduct.
  •   Evaluate your situation by examining what you own, how much you owe, how much you make, and how much you spend each month, and then evaluate how everything may be divided.
  •   Attempt to discuss and account for upcoming events. For instance, would the family home be split into two smaller homes, or can one of you finance the family home alone?

Why do I need a financially binding agreement?

Financial instability may be one of the most distressing elements of a divorce.

The courts will always seek to financially separate the divorced couple. This is referred to as a “clean split,” because it signifies that there would be no continuing financial conflicts between the parties. If a clean break cannot be made at the time of divorce, the court may mandate maintenance payments for a certain amount of time with the goal of achieving a clean break in the future.

In England and Wales, any unresolved financial concerns might result in a claim against the other party’s fortune or potential earnings, even after the marriage has been formally dissolved. Claims may be filed at any time, but are considered compromised only after three years have elapsed after the divorce was finalised. This is one of the reasons why, if feasible, we attempt to resolve all financial concerns as part of the divorce process.

How may UKFM assist?

Our expert staff will construct a secure financial arrangement with you, advising you and pointing out any gaps along the way. We think that mediation is essential to achieving an agreeable resolution and minimising expenses, but we also have the skills and experience to vigorously defend your case in court if necessary.

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