When dealing with the resolution of financial issues on divorce it is essential that you can make an informed decision about how you want to resolve these matters and move forward with your financial future. If you want to secure an agreed resolution, negotiations are often more effective and more likely to result in an agreement when they are undertaken early on. From the outset it is therefore essential that you understand what types of order the court can make, the options for structuring financial settlement whilst identifying the issues for your family which will be relevant to the question of financial provision.
Statutory Criteria to which You Must have Regard
When determining what the financial settlement should be, whether by agreement or as decided by the court, it is important to understand the relevant statutory criteria set out in s25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which refers to:
• The length of your marriage
• Your ages and state of health
• Your family’s standard of living
• Income, earning capacity, property and financial resources now and in the foreseeable future
• Financial needs, responsibilities and obligations
• Contributions financial and other made to the family historically and in the future
• Value of any benefits lost on divorce
There may be issues arising from establishing the value of some assets, valuations may be required and advice on tax may be required.
Court Approval is Vital in all Cases
If an agreement is reached then it is important to ensure that it is set out in a draft order which is then submitted to the court for approval within the divorce proceedings. A simple agreement between parties to a marriage which is not approved by the court is not a binding agreement.
We have a strong and consistent reputation advising clients in respect of financial provision. We provide advice that is clear, effective and commercial. We assist high net worth clients with complex issues, advising on the treatment of assets such as business, pensions and trusts and we advise clients with lower asset values whereby our experience is required to identify a realistic and workable solution.
Take a look at our brief guide – How to Make a Financial Settlement on Divorce – to gain an overview of the whole process.