Property and finances
Most couples will own property or other assets acquired either before or during their marriage or relationship.
Our lawyers can give you specialist advice regarding the division of these assets upon separation and realistic expectations, given the overall circumstances of your case. To enable us to give you clear advice we will ask that you and your former partner or spouse provide relevant disclosure of your financial positions which will depend on whether you are married or in a cohabiting relationship. This can include details of income, savings, pensions, property and debts.
When couples agree on how these assets are to be divided, it is strongly advised that the agreement regarding property and financial arrangements is recorded in writing. If Divorce proceedings are underway then the agreement can be recorded in a Financial Order, which is sent to the Court for approval after the pronouncement of Decree Nisi of Divorce. If there are no Divorce proceedings or the parties are not married, a written Agreement can be prepared for signature by both parties.
Such Agreements or Orders provide clarity and certainty for you and your spouse or former partner and ensure that, so far as possible, all arrangements are complete and binding on each of you and prevent future financial claims being made.
With the assistance and advice of your lawyer, you are strongly advised to seek an agreement with your spouse or partner regarding the division of money and property. In the event that you cannot reach an agreement then during the course of Divorce proceedings, an application can be made to the Court, when a Judge will decide on the most fair and reasonable way to divide your property and finances depending on the particular circumstances of your case, taking into consideration a number of factors including the needs and resources of both parties and any dependent children, income and earning capacity, the length of the marriage, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, any health issues or disabilities and contributions made. It is very rare and unlikely that the conduct or behaviour of either you or your partner would affect a Judge’s decision over the division of the finances.
Court procedures can be expensive and time consuming and so it is always worthwhile considering the alternatives to Court, such as Mediation or reaching a fair compromise, guided by your lawyer.