Financial arrangements on divorce
Making your agreement legally binding
When a couple separates, the finances can often be the most worrying and confusing area for them.
A divorce or dissolution gives rise to a range of financial claims that can be made. It also allows parties to protect their assets from being disposed of or taken by the other party.
This area of family law can be complicated as it is discretionary. Couples need to be careful to ensure they are not vulnerable in the short and long term but also that assets or income are not being given away unfairly.
If you have any assets such as a family house or a business or if one of you has a pension or if you want to claim maintenance I can advise and assist you in relation to the financial arrangements that will need to be made.
It is only possible to give you general information in these pages.
Generally though, you should try to reach an agreement about the financial arrangements that are to be made if you are divorcing or separating.
If you can’t reach an agreement by discussing financial matters in a constructive way between yourselves or by negotiations through solicitors then it is a requirement to attend mediation before starting proceedings in The Family Court.
Where one party is seeking to hide or dispose of assets, it is usually best to apply to the court to make an order about the financial arrangements.
Whichever route is followed financial disclosure has to be provided by both parties and there can be a range of ‘answers’ within the bracket of what could be right, appropriate or a judge might order.
If a person is in any doubt at all about what the outcome of their relationship breakdown should be they need to take specialist family law advice.
I can provide you with no-nonsense and easy to understand guidance. This might just be to confirm that what you have agreed with your ex-spouse or partner is appropriate.
Even after mediation if you do not have any separation agreement or financial court order bout your money and property then agreement will not be legally binding, which means a court cannot enforce it. And either party could make a claim against the other and any time in the future unless they have remarried.
If you want to make your agreement legally binding, I can help with the paperwork usually by making an application for a financial consent order at The Family Court.
If you have any assets whether that is a house or pension or a business, you will need a solicitor to draft a Financial consent order and make the application to the The Family Court for a financial order to make this legally binding. Solicitors are now required to make an application for a financial consent order online through the HMCTS portal. So for instance, if there is an agreed order it is no longer possible to submit an application to the Bristol Family Court or to the Bristol County Court, or a regional divorce centre, this has to be made through the HMCTS portal