Negotiating financial settlements
When you and a partner/spouse separate you may have issues to resolve in relation to financial matters. If you are married or in a civil partnership then you will have a host of matrimonial/nuptial claims to resolve in relation to:-
- Capital – your home, any savings and investments;
- Pensions – there are different options as to how pensions should be treated;
- Trusts - you may have business assets or assets which are held within trusts;
- Inheritance - you may have inherited monies prior, during or following the breakdown of your relationship with the other party;
- Income - you or your spouse/partner may need to continue to financially support the other.
- Liabilities - you or your spouse/partner may have incurred debts during the relationship.
We can help you to sort these issues out by advising upon legal principles which are set out in statute, principally Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and a host of updating legislation and case law (decisions of the Courts) which inform us as to how the law is interpreted. The law sets out a checklist of factors, the importance of each factor will depend upon your individual situation. In the majority of situations a balancing act is required and there is often no one clear cut answer but rather a range of solutions which would be acceptable in law and endorsed by a Court. You may find that family and friends are eager to give advice based upon what happened to them or to someone they know. It is vitally important however that you speak to a family law specialist who can inform you of what the law says and how that applies to your unique set of circumstances.
When deciding on financial issues there are a range of methods available including family mediation, collaborative law, traditional solicitor negotiations and Court proceedings. Court proceedings are the last resort. However it is necessary in some cases to issue court proceedings in circumstances where the other party refuses to give disclosure or you are concerned that assets are being hidden and in such cases emergency proceedings can be required.
If you manage to reach an agreement direct with your spouse/civil partner then it is important to get the agreement properly drawn up by a family specialist into a consent order which can be made into a binding order within divorce/dissolution proceedings. Alternatively, you should have a properly drafted separation agreement prepared in cases where you are not married or not seeking to divorce at this stage.
Financial issues are also very live at the outset of a relationship and you can take steps to protect existing and anticipated future wealth prior to starting to cohabit with your partner, or prior to or following marriage. We can provide advice and assistance on cohabitation and pre/post nuptial agreements.
If you would like to discuss financial related issues contact us on 0113 322 9222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org