Financial Settlements on Divorce
The court takes into account a number of factors when making a decision about the division of property, capital, income and pensions in divorce. These will include the needs of any children, the housing needs of both spouses, the length of the marriage and any significant contributions from either spouse.
Most couples are able to negotiate a financial settlement with the help of their solicitors, without involving the court but reflecting the sort of orders the court would make. This is usually less expensive, less emotionally draining and also allows the opportunity to reach a creative solution. It is advisable to have the settlement recorded in a court order so that the terms can be enforced if necessary and to avoid any misunderstanding at a later stage.
Sometimes involving the court is unavoidable, for example where urgent action is needed to stop assets and property being disposed of without agreement. We can advise you and act for you in that process. We can also act for you and advise you upon the options and the possible outcome in relation to:
· The family home. There are a number of options usually depending upon the value of the house, the mortgage and the ages of any children. We can take steps to safeguard your interest in the house and any other properties until your case is resolved.
· Pension. Again, there are a number of options, the most popular being pension sharing and offsetting pension for capital. Whether or not a pension order is appropriate or necessary will depend upon a number of factors including the length of the marriage, the ages of the parties and the size of the fund.
· Capital (lump sum) payments. These can be used to adjust the value of each spouse`s investments or other assets; they can also be used in place of ongoing maintenance payments in order to achieve a financial “clean break”
· Spousal maintenance. This is maintenance for a husband or wife as opposed to maintenance for the children. The court prefers to impose a financial clean break where possible rather than order ongoing maintenance payments. However sometimes the spouses` financial situation is such that a maintenance order is unavoidable.
· Children`s maintenance. Currently the court can endorse an agreement between the parents but if there is no agreement, either parent can ask the Child Support Agency to make an assessment.
· Safeguarding property or other assets until the case is finally resolved.