Our team is experienced in managing high value divorce cases. We often deal with family businesses, trusts and complex asset structures, many with an international element. We offer the highest quality legal advice and exceptional client service, supporting our clients in achieving the best outcome.
Financial agreements and settlement
Once you have obtained your Final Order (previously known as Decree Absolute), your marriage will come to an end. This will not however mean the issue of the division of your financial assets will be concluded as well. The ‘door’ to a financial claim being made against you by your spouse will remain ‘open’ until a final order, which is often referred to as a ‘clean break order’ or ‘consent order’ has been obtained. Once this order has been entered into it will prevent you and your spouse from bringing a claim against the other at some point in the future for income, capital or assets. This may be particularly important if you re-marry, receive inheritance or win the lottery for instance after your marriage has been dissolved.
If you are not able to reach an agreement on how the assets are to be divided, then you may want to consider one of the following options to assist you in doing so:
- Instructing a Solicitor
- Issuing a formal Court application as a last resort.
Consent Orders and Agreements:
A consent order is a legally binding document that confirms you and your ex-partner’s agreement over particular issues. This can prevent disputes over child arrangements by determining who your children will live with when they see their other parent and what types of other arrangements may be put in place (for example, phone calls). A consent order can also be used to determine how you divide assets such as money, property, savings and investments.
A consent order can be drafted by an experienced divorce lawyer, after which it needs to be submitted to court. Your lawyer will be able to help you with this. Obtaining a consent order also allows both parties to avoid attending court hearings, providing that you can both agree.
Any divorce financial settlement needs to be ultimately approved by a Judge and the court. If you do not take this important step, anything you agree can be potentially overturned. It is therefore very important you take this step when divorcing or seeking a judicial separation.
What does a financial settlement include?
A divorce financial settlement can include all types of different claims and considerations, including:
- Rights to property
- Distribution of savings, bank accounts and investments
- Maintenance for you and your children (this can be applied for before any final settlement – known as “maintenance pending suit) and maintenance after divorce (including ongoing child support and spousal payments)
- Pensions – in many cases and, where appropriate, you can obtain a share of a pension
- Any international assets are considered as well and taken into account (we can advise you as to how these might be considered on a case by case basis)
- Liabilities for debts and how they are to be divided
- Trust or company interests (both of which the Family Court have generous jurisdiction to consider and review)
Financial agreements will be subject to the individual facts of the case, which is why a ‘one size fits all’ approach cannot be adopted in such cases. When deciding whether or not a final agreement should be made legally binding on both of you, the Court will have a regard to a number of different factors. Contact our specialist Family Law Solicitors to discuss what financial settlement will be considered to be fair and reasonable by the Courts, today.