When it comes to divorce in the UK, agreeing a financial settlement can be one of the most complex and daunting parts of the process.
If your relationship breaks down, Barber & Coâ€™s family law solicitors can advise you on how best to divide assets and create a fair and legally binding financial agreement.
Jacquie Birkett, who heads our Family Law department, specialises in financial agreements during divorce and separation. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Jacquie worked as a Chartered Accountant for a number of years, and this experience has proven to be invaluable, especially when it comes to handling complex financial agreements.
How are finances divided in a divorce?
There is no set formula when it comes to dividing assets in a divorce and although a 50/50 split is the starting point it is not guaranteed. The courts will make a decision on what it deems to be fair based on the financial resources that you have; including the value of your home, your mortgage, your income, your savings and your pension.
When considering what is fair, each case is looked at individually and a fair decision will be made after taking into consideration the interests of your children , each parties needs, age, health and income earning capacity and any other relevant circumstances.
What happens to the family home?
There is no set rule on what happens to a family home. A decision will be made based on what the court believes is fair to both parties. This may include:
- Selling the house
- Letting one-half of the couple stay in the house (especially if they are the primary carer for children). When this happens the other party may receive other assets to even up the distribution.
- Another option, if one spouse gets to keep the family home, is to have a Mesher Order. This is when the other partner agrees to defer receiving their interest in the property until it is sold, when the children move out or when the partner remarries.
What happens if I donâ€™t have a financial agreement?
If a final clean break order has not been made in relation to financial issues then it is possible for your ex-partner to make a financial claim against you if your finances were to change. For example, if you were to receive an inheritance, business success or lottery win. This can happen even if you divorced many years ago.
My spouse and I are business partners what will happen if we divorce?
In England and Wales any business interests and their value can be taken into account as a â€˜matrimonial assetâ€™ and divided accordingly in a divorce. Whether you own a business with your spouse or in your own name, your business assets will be taken into account when reaching any financial settlement on the breakdown of your marriage.
If you are going through a divorce and need UK legal advice on financial agreements and settlements then call one of our highly experienced family law solicitors today.