A crucial aspect of divorce settlements involves separating joint assets and finances, including decisions about whether one partner will continue to live in the family home after divorce – or whether the home will be sold and the profits from the sale shared out between the couple and any other family members who might have an interest in the property.
Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 sets out all the various factors taken into account when assets are separated after divorce or when dissolving a civil partnership – these are called Section 25 factors and take into account each party’s income and assets, as well as how long the marriage lasted and the couple’s standard of living during the marriage.
It is possible to apply to the court for maintenance in both divorce and when dissolving a civil partnership.
A court can make a judgment on a wide range of financial matters in settlements, including:
It is also possible for couples to come to some arrangement about how joint assets will be shared and the level of maintenance to be paid through a Deed of Separation – a separation agreement which can list everything a couple has agreed upon.
A Deed of Separation can be drawn up even before divorce proceedings have been initiated – and may precede divorce if a couple does not wish to divorce or divorce immediately.
The court can also step in if it is likely one party has not disclosed all their assets for the purposes of a divorce settlement – or has concealed assets in a business, for example.
In such cases, the court may freeze assets or set aside certain transactions.
Divorce settlements and separation agreements are intended to be fair to both parties and protect any children in the relationship. The length of a marriage or civil partnership and the standard of living enjoyed during the relationship are usually factors taken into account in divorce settlements.
Different court orders can also be applied to make sure one partner is not left disadvantaged – including lump sum court orders or property adjustment orders. In cases where finances have been agreed in a Deed of Separation, a consent order can also be applied for to finalise what has been agreed and prevent disputes later.
Sorting out finances and property after divorce or separation can be complex – and it is crucial both partners take expert legal advice to protect their interests and ensure that divorce proceedings are as amicable as possible.
In some cases a clean break financial settlement could be made in relation to a former spouse or civil partner, which would mean no further maintenance would be paid. A clean break settlement would only apply to a former spouse or partner and not any children of the relationship.
Duncan Lewis divorce solicitors offer expert and detailed legal advice to individuals and couples on division of property and joint financial arrangements in divorce or when a civil partnership ends.
Duncan Lewis also has successful departments specialising in family and children law, property law and litigation, able to advise on the various issues involved in divorce and ending civil partnerships – as well as how to ensure a divorce settlement best suits your future needs and those of any children.
Duncan Lewis has considerable expertise in international divorce settlements and Islamic marriage and divorce – and can advise on alternatives to court proceedings in contested divorce cases, including lawyers supported family mediation.
Duncan Lewis divorce solicitors offer an initial client meeting with a fixed fee for legal advice on finances and property in divorce or when dissolving a civil partnerships.
Once the details of a case have been assessed it is usually possible to offer a further fixed fee scale, which clients will be advised of in advance.
Duncan Lewis advises clients considering divorce or ending their civil partnership to get in touch as soon as possible for an assessment of their case, so that financial matters can be worked through thoroughly before initiating divorce proceedings or signing a Deed of Separation. Taking legal advice early in divorce or separation can help focus on the practicalities at what is usually a very stressful and upsetting time.
For expert legal advice on Finances and Property In Divorce and related family matters, call Duncan Lewis Divorce Solicitors in confidence on 020 7923 4020.