The pitfalls of the DIY Financial Settlement Upon Divorce

The current rate of Divorce in England and Wales according to the most recent available statistics, is that 42% of marriages end in Divorce.

The breakdown of a marriage and family can be a traumatic experience.  There are so many worries for those going through a Divorce. Where will I live? How will I support myself? Will what is important to me be taken into account? What happens to the children?  How will they be supported? What will happen to me in retirement?

Unfortunately, although important to individuals, some of the issues they have they are surprised to discover are meaningless and have no relevance which can be upsetting.

Also, there are so many issues arising within a Matrimonial Settlement that the general public are generally unaware of which can impact the settlement to the extent that the outcome may not be as expected or that steps have to have taken to protect one or both parties.

The most common of these is how the parties to the marriage hold the title to the family home if it owned jointly and the effect of each of the two methods.  Many are unaware that there is more than one way to hold the title and each way has a significant difference when dealing with Divorce and Financial Settlements.

Many seek to avoid what they perceive to be high legal fees when engaging solicitors.  As Matrimonial Lawyers we have the necessary experience to identify the important issues that parties may not be aware of and can act accordingly.  It can often be more cost effective to instruct lawyers than not.

There are those divorcing couples who are able to reach agreement between themselves as to what their settlement should be however often important issues are either ignored or not take into account which can have ramifications later down the line.  A classic example is parties that do not take into account the interest of lenders where there are mortgages secured against the family home.

There are those that do not take into account that buying the other out of a property also includes the taking over the exiting mortgage if there is one.

Some reach agreements that cannot be effective in law and are usually rejected by the Family Courts as a result and then the aftermath must be resolved which can be even more costly that if lawyers were instructed from the outset.

There are those parties that reach their agreements, implement them and then believe that this is the end.  It is not and many do not accept that unless formally dismissed by a Court, financial claims will remain live forever.

Additionally there are those who do not address their respective claims at all and many years down the line claims are launched, after the parties financial positions have improved substantially, which can be successful such as in the case of Vince –v- Wyatt (commenced in 2013) which was played out by the media.

Although doing so amicably is the quickest most cost effective method of resolving Divorce and Financial settlements, the involvement of Matrimonial Lawyers is invaluable in ensuring that each party is properly advised, protected and that they achieve the best possible settlement in the circumstances.

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