Going through a divorce often proves to be an emotionally exhausting experience, especially when finances are concerned.
One of the first questions that any individual considering a divorce will often ask is “If I get a divorce what am I financially entitled to?” – and understandably so. Whilst there is no exact answer to this, as the division of assets and finances will depend largely on individual factors and circumstances, it is possible for us to provide you with some guidance on how this process works. This will allow you to make a fully informed decision about what will happen next and whether you wish to proceed.
It should be noted that this blog is not intended as legal advice and is for educational purposes only. Should you wish to discuss your specific situation, our divorce solicitors will be happy to answer any queries you may have.
How to financially prepare for divorce
One of the biggest concerns that a lot of our clients have prior to divorce is how they will cope financially. As can be expected, this can have a dramatic impact on their standard of living, or even their capacity to meet their own basic needs as well as for any children involved.
A skilled family law solicitor will be able to best guide you on how to financially prepare for a divorce. This may include thinking about your immediate living costs prior to divorce proceedings. This is especially important if you were previously reliant on your spouse’s income, as you may have to consider how you will pay for your living costs in the long term.
Your solicitor will also be able to inform you on what benefits you may be entitled to, as well as any potential spousal maintenance that may be available to you after you have reached a settlement. They will also be able to advise you on issues such as who will remain in the family home after the divorce.
It's important to note that a divorce financial settlement can potentially take months to finalise, so you should also be thinking about your immediate finances. You should also check with your solicitor about actions you will or will not be able to take. For example, moving money into a private account that your spouse does not have access to could be seen as you trying to conceal funds which may reflect badly on you in the eyes of the court if it comes to that.
What am I entitled to in a divorce?
In general, entitlements during a divorce are calculated by the principles of fairness and a needs-based approach. The court considers multiple factors when dividing assets and determining financial settlements. Marital assets, referring to property, savings, investments and pensions accrued during the marriage are normally subject to division. The court will also assess the financial requirements and contributions made by each spouse, as well as their earning capacity, age, health and standard of living previously throughout the marriage.
If one party requires financial support, spousal maintenance may be put in place to assist with this. Child custody arrangements will always prioritise the children’s best interests, and shared parenting is viewed as the best possible option.
We always recommend seeking legal counsel with an experienced family law solicitor who will be able to assess your situation and help advise you on what you are entitled to.
How can I financially protect myself during a divorce?
Going through a divorce can come with significant financial implications, and its important to take extra measures to protect yourself during what is already a difficult time.
There are many ways of protecting your financial well-being during your divorce. Firstly, it's important to gather all of your financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, and property records and to have a good comprehension of all of your assets and debts.
We also recommend having the support of one of our excellent family law solicitors who will be able to help guide you through this process and take care of any legal paperwork that needs to be completed. Our divorce solicitors will also be able to clearly explain your rights, entitlements and any potential financial settlement options.
It’s also essential that you are open and honest with your ex-partner during the divorce process, as keeping the separation outside of the court system will likely save both parties a lot of time and money. We also recommend considering mediation tactics as a way of coming to a positive financial arrangement.
It is also important to update your Will with a qualified solicitor, as well as review your estate and assets in preparation for the divorce. Every separation is different, so it always pays dividends to have the support of a family law solicitor who specialises in divorce to make sure that you are fully prepared for what is to come.
Consult our divorce solicitors in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby
If you would like to speak to a solicitor with expertise in guiding individuals through divorce and separation, please get in touch with a member of our team.