Sorting out your finances after the breakdown of a relationship can be difficult. There are lots of things to consider and tensions can run high when trying to come to an agreement on who gets what. A family solicitor will help you navigate your way through the financial legalities of separation and divorce. Here’s some of the most common questions we’re asked:
Can I stay in the house with the children?
Yes, it’s possible, but it depends on a number of factors. Following separation, the court will always consider how the needs of any dependent child will be met. This may result in one parent remaining in the family home with the child or, alternatively, it may be that the house has to be sold so that both parties can buy somewhere of their own. Whatever the outcome, the court considers all the resources available to both parents and will try and reach a fair outcome.
How much will it cost?
Court proceedings for a financial order can be expensive so it’s wise to try to negotiate first. Alternative methods of negotiation, such as mediation and collaborative law, can help and are usually more economical than going to court. Generally, court proceedings cost in the region of £5,000 but this very much depends upon on the complexity of your situation, so it could be lower or even higher than this. That said, we’ll always discuss the most cost effective way to resolve the situation in order to keep your costs proportionate.
How long will it take?
If your financial proceedings go through to a final hearing, the process can take as long as nine months - even longer if your circumstances are complicated. But, to avoid further delay, both parties can agree to settle the case at any time during the proceedings.
What will I get?
There’s no hard and fast rule of who’ll get what; financial orders vary depending on the individual aspects of each case and both parties are expected to formally disclose full details of their financial circumstances. Although the court does consider the needs of any children involved, particularly in respect to housing, it does look at all of the assets and how each party’s needs can be met fairly.
Assets include income, savings, investments, capital resources, properties and pensions together with any other valuables, although it doesn’t usually consider personal property unless it’s of a significantly high value.
Will the court look at his/her behaviour and why the marriage broke down when making a financial order?
No. The court is obliged to look at the situation from an entirely neutral perspective. The only exception to this is if one of the parties has engaged in serious misconduct, such as refusing to provide full disclosure of financial circumstances, violent behaviour, or if one party’s financial conduct has depleted the matrimonial assets.