Preparing your finances during a divorce

At Downs, we also know that everyone’s circumstances are different.

  • Perhaps you feel that a divorce is the only way forward?
  • Perhaps things aren’t quite what they used to be and you’ve decided to mediate before calling it a day?
  • You are worried about how your assets will be split?
  • Whatever your circumstance may be, our team will work with you and your partner to achieve an amicable agreement through discussion and negotiation.

Finding an amicable solution

We do not believe in creating animosity, instead we feel that it is important to find a solution that suits all parties. However, in some circumstances, an amicable solution may not be possible. If this is the case, Downs has experienced solicitors that can represent you in Court and ensure the best possible outcome for you.

Dividing up your assets

Many of our clients are worried about their assets, especially with regards to how assets will be divided up. Dividing up finances can be complicated, when it includes pensions, investments, income, debt, inheritance and spousal maintenance. These are complex topics and may initially seem daunting to figure out. This is where our Family Law experts can come in and provide you advice on how to proceed. Downs can use its expertise to advocate for you and help you reach a fair and amicable financial settlement.

Before we can start proceedings to end your marriage or civil partnership, you must be able to prove that you have been married or in a civil partnership for at least one year and be able to show that your marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. Our team has experience working on straightforward amicable cases, but also on complex contested cases. Either way, we will handle your case with discretion. Please keep in mind that after the no fault divorce law came into effect in England and Wales on 6 April 2022, it is no longer possible to contest a divorce.

We can help answer some questions?

How will our assets to be split?

Generally, the starting point for splitting assets is 50/50. However, each case will be different and the split will depend on factors such as if you were married or in a civil partnership, how long you were together, how complicated your financials are, and whether both parties agree to a financial settlement. In cases where both parties agree to a financial settlement, the assets can be split according to the agreement, 80/20, 70/30 or another split. However, if it is not possible to come to an agreement, we can act as mediators and try to help negotiate to reach an amicable financial agreement. If this mediation is not successful or your finances very complicated, then a financial settlement can be reached through Court.

How much am I entitled to?

In the UK, generally assets are split 50/50. However, this is supposed to be an amicable or fair split and if your finances are very complicated or you run a business or you brought many assets into the marriage or civil partnership, a 50/50 split may not apply, as it may be considered unfair. The final split will depend on what is considered fair and what can be negotiated and agreed upon. This could be 80/20 or 70/30 or another split. Whatever split you agree on, you will have to apply for a consent order to make it legal and the team at Downs can help with this process.

How will maintenance be calculated?

There are two types of maintenance, spousal and child maintenance. For child maintenance, there is a statutory amount that will need to be calculated and paid set forth under the Child Maintenance Act for the person who will be responsible for the child. However, for spousal maintenance, there is not such fixed calculation. The spousal maintenance will be calculate based on need and lifestyle and what the two parties can agree on. If no agreement can be reached, then the Court will decide the amount to be paid and how long it will need to be paid

Is it true the wife always gets the house?

The simple answer is, no. There are many variables that determine who will get the home you have lived in together. Part of the decision will depend on who owns the home. The outcome will differ if the home is registered in your name only or jointly with your partner or is owned together with someone else. It will also depend on whether you have children or if it is easier to sell the home and share the proceeds.

However, if your partner owns the home and you are worried that they will sell it prior to the divorce and keep the proceeds, then our team can help you register your home rights, which can stop your partner from selling the home.

What happens with pensions on divorce?

Simply put, pensions are considered part of the joint finances and will be split, starting at 50/50, when you divorce or dissolve a civil partnership. The final split will be determined by the financial settlement you agree on either amicably negotiated between you and partner, mediated by us or through a court order. However, there are ways to negotiate pension splits and this may depend on your age and circumstances. Our family law team can advise you on what will best suit your situation.

Are assets overseas taken into account?

Legally, all assets, regardless of if they are in the UK or overseas are considered joint assets or matrimonial property. However, a distinction will be made whether you brought those assets to the marriage or civil partnership. If the overseas assets were obtained prior to the marriage or civil partnership, they are unlikely to be considered as part of the matrimonial property. However, in some cases it may be difficult to enforce UK court orders in a foreign country, if your partner is not amicable, and this may lead to problems when trying to access or sell those overseas assets. At Downs we can advise you on how best to deal with overseas assets.

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