Financial Arrangements (Married Couples)
Married couples may have joint assets or assets in their own name which need to be settled within divorce proceedings.
Often parties can agree how to divide the assets from the marriage. However, it is important that divorcing spouses are aware of the legal implications of divorce and aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Even once a married couple has divorced, in theory both parties have the following claims against the other:
- A claim for maintenance;
- a claim against any assets either of you may have or come into in the future;
- a possible claim in pursuing a transfer of title on the former Family home;
- in the event of either party dying, a claim against the Estate of the deceased.
These are only theoretical claims and it would be for the Court to decide whether any claim issued should ultimately succeed.
The various claims can be dismissed by preparing what is known as a Consent Order, one that incorporates clean break terms and that both parties are required to sign.
With your needs and best interests at the forefront of our advice and support, the Family Team at Fosters can draft suitable Consent Order documentation that sets out how the assets should be divided. Similarly, we can advise you about the merits of Consent Order documentation that has been drafted by your spouse's legal representatives.
In reality, it may be that a divorcing couple is not able to reach an agreement about how to divide the marital assets, in which case the parties may need help. When parties cannot agree there are various established ways of reaching a settlement which tend to be as follows:
- negotiating an agreement through solicitors' correspondence;
- the collaborative approach (each party instructs his or her own Family Lawyer, but instead of conducting negotiations between you and your ex-partner by e-mail, letter or phone, the parties, together with their legal representatives meet together to work things out face-to-face);
- an application to Court for ancillary relief within the divorce proceedings.
At Fosters, our experienced Family Lawyers can advise you in relation to achieving the best settlement which will usually depend on various factors which the Court looks at when making a decision and which include the following:
- the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would, in the opinion of the Court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
- the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
- the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
- the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
- any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
- the contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family; including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
- the conduct of each of the parties (which tends only to be relevant in exceptional circumstances).
Ultimately if parties cannot reach an agreement, there is usually no option other than to place the matter before the Court in an application for ancillary relief. We can offer a clear explanation about the Court procedure, represent you at Court and give you clear advice about your best possible settlement.
If you require more advice about settling Family finances, please contact us the number below or alternatively email us.
Fosters Solicitors team of Family lawyers have a wealth of experience and knowledge to assist you in relation to any legal query or matter you may have. Call us on 01603 620508 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the department will be in touch very soon.
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