Our expertise in divorce and finances
We provide a fixed price ancillary relief package which enables parties to know in advance what the legal costs are likely to be for dealing with matrimonial finances following divorce.
The process of resolving the financial arrangements of divorce has been broken down into four steps. At each stage, we will try to negotiate a financial settlement for you in an attempt to avoid the next step. After the first step, during which both parties are required to give full, frank and accurate disclosure of all their financial and other relevant circumstances, we will then advise you on an appropriate financial settlement.
Our fixed price service is suitable for the majority of people getting divorced who have a genuine desire to reach a sensible financial arrangement with their spouse and want to use the expertise and service of a solicitor whilst remaining in control of the costs.
This fixed price service is only available to clients with combined gross assets below £300,000 and without assets outside England and Wales. If you have assets above this level, it is likely that one of our divorce financial solicitors will need to spend a greater amount of time dealing with your financial affairs so please contact your nearest office.
Our experts can also help with
- Divorce proceedings
- Civil partnership dissolution
- Division of finances
- Child law
- International divorce
- Separation for unmarried couples
- Separation agreements where divorce is not an option
- Divorce counselling
Why choose Brethertons divorce financial settlement solicitors?
- The team is top ranked by leading client guides Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for our Family law expertise.
- Our Director of Legal Services Linda Jones has been recognised as a Leading Individual and Senior Associate Josh Russell as a Rising Star in the field of Family law by the Legal 500.
- Chambers & Partners recognises Linda as an Eminent Practitioner, with Partner Simon Craddock being individually ranked for his Family law expertise.
- Unlike any other law firm we know, we provide free-of-charge counselling to all of our clients currently experiencing a divorce and/or separation from our qualified in-house counsellor.
- Our solicitors specialising in finances in divorce offer a personalised service that is easily accessible to clients both nationally and internationally. They achieve this through a combination of videoconferencing, email and in-person meetings.
- Our divorce and finance solicitors have years of experience with incredibly complicated and high value separations.
- Our divorce solicitors approach every case with sensitivity and respect.
Divorce financial settlement FAQs
How are finances settled in a divorce?
During a divorce, finances are divided by a process called financial settlement, which is also referred to as ancillary relief. The objective of financial settlement is to ensure a fair and reasonable distribution of assets and income between the divorcing couple.
When determining the division of finances, the Court will take into account a variety of factors, such as:
- The needs of dependent children – this is the main consideration in any financial settlement where there are children
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of each party
- The standard of living previously enjoyed by the family before the divorce
- The length of the marriage
- The age, health and contributions made by each party
- Any disabilities either of the parties are living with
- Any conduct that could be considered relevant
While not all divorce settlements will require court proceedings, these factors should also be used as a guide when making a voluntary settlement. This is because failure to account for them could lead either party to feel they would be better off taking matters to court.
The Court has the ability to order the transfer of assets, the sale of a property, the award of maintenance payments, as well as the sharing of pension funds. The precise distribution of finances will vary depending on the unique circumstances of each individual case, so it is important to get bespoke finance advice.
What will I lose in a divorce?
When going through a divorce, a common worry is exactly what you may lose in the settlement, especially where one spouse has significantly higher income or assets than the other. In such cases, some of the assets you may be required to share with your former spouse include:
- Property: If you own any property with your spouse, it may have to be sold, with the proceeds being split. One alternative to this is that one spouse could retain the property, with the other spouse receiving assets of equal value.
- Savings and Investments: Any savings of investments accumulated between you and your spouse during the period of your marriage will likely have to be split between both of you.
- Retirement accounts: Pensions, as well as savings and investments intended to fund your retirement are also amongst the assets that might need to be divided between you and your spouse. This is sometimes a complicated process, so it’s essential that you work with a divorce and finance solicitor who is well versed in this area, to make sure that all of your rights are being protected.
- Income: If you and your spouse have different incomes, the person who earn significantly more may be required to pay spousal support in order to financially assist their former spouse. The amount and duration of spousal support is calculated according to varying factors, such as the length of the marriage and the income earned by both parties.
What is the usual financial split during a divorce?
The financial split during a divorce can vary hugely depending on the specifics of the case. In general, the Court’s goal is to divide the marital assets and liabilities fairly between the two former spouses, so this should be considered even when making a voluntary financial agreement for divorce.
In some situations, it could be a simple 50/50 split, wherein each spouse receives an equal share of the marital assets and debts. However, more commonly, the split will be uneven due to factors such as the length of the marriage, the earning potential of each party, as well as any contributions that each spouse has made to the marriage.
It’s also worth noting that the financial split during a divorce is not limited to assets and debts. Spousal support could also be awarded to the spouse who earns less in order to help them support themselves after the divorce. Child support may also be awarded to help support any children involved.
Ultimately, the financial split in a UK divorce settlement depends on a large quantity of variables, so there is no exact science when providing an answer. It is crucial that you discuss your specific case with a qualified and experienced UK divorce solicitor so that you are fully informed and prepared for any legal proceedings required of you.
How long does a divorce settlement take?
It can be difficult to provide the exact time a divorce financial settlement takes as it can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the case. In a lot of cases, a settlement can be achieved quickly. Alternatively, in some cases the process can drag on for months or even years.
Some of the factors that can impact the timeline for reaching a financial settlement include:
- The complexity of the case: If the case at hand contains a large amount of assets or debts or if there is an existing complex financial arrangement (for example, business interests or trusts) it can prolong the time it takes to reach a settlement.
- The willingness of both parties to negotiate: If both spouses are willing to negotiate productively and work towards a fair settlement, the process may be quicker. However, if one or both parties are absolutely unwilling to compromise, this can stall any potential agreement significantly.
- The Court’s Schedule: If negotiations fail and the case must go to court, the timeline for reaching a settlement will depend on the court’s schedule and availability.
- Expert opinions: Sometimes cases require the opinion of financial experts, such as accountants or business valuers. In this case, it can take longer to reach a settlement.
It is important to be aware that reaching a financial settlement during a divorce can take a long time and to be prepared for this. Of course, it’s very important to work alongside an experience divorce and finances solicitor who will help you navigate this difficult and complex process with clear financial advice.
Do I need a solicitor for a financial settlement in a divorce?
In theory, you could agree the division of finances in your divorce without a solicitor, but this would be very risky. It is critical that all assets are properly considered, along with the reasonable needs of both spouses and any children, both now and for the future. It can be very easy to overlook things, resulting in a settlement that is not fair and could lead to future financial hardship.
The other factor to consider is making sure you are protected against the risk of your former spouse changing their mind about the terms of the settlement in future. Any agreement you reach voluntarily will not be automatically legally binding, so you will need to apply to a court for a Consent Order to make it so. This should also include a Clean Break clause, severing the financial link between you and your former spouse, so they have no claim on your assets in future.
It is these sorts of considerations that make finance advice from an experience divorce expert so essential.
Consult our divorce financial settlement solicitors in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby
If you would like to speak to a solicitor with high level expertise in helping people through divorce and separation, please do get in touch. We’d be glad to help you.
We have offices in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby, working with clients across Coventry and Warwickshire, the West Midlands, Oxfordshire and nationwide.