All assets held in the joint and sole names of the parties will be matrimonial or civil partnership assets. These include the family home, earnings, savings, pensions, personal belongings, investments and any other assets, such as the family business.
The starting point will be an equal division of all the assets between you and your spouse/civil partner. The court will then look at whether this is fair in light of various factors, such as the length of the marriage/civil partnership, needs of the children, income and earning capacity of the parties, and age and needs of the parties. The children’s needs will always take priority.
You and your spouse/civil partner should give each other full and frank financial disclosure to ascertain the existence and value of all the assets. You can then use this information to reach an agreement between you about how to divide the finances.
If you reach an agreement, you should put this agreement into a ‘Consent Order’ for the court to approve. Until the agreement is approved by a Judge in this way, it will not be binding. If you do not have your agreement approved by the court, your financial claims against each other will remain open even after divorce or dissolution.
If you cannot agree, it may be necessary to issue court proceedings in the family court. You and your spouse/civil partner will then be required to follow a court timetable to try and resolve financial matters.
We can help you by:
- Advising you on your financial claims arising from your marriage or civil partnership
- Helping you to get the financial information you need from your spouse/civil partner
- Advising you on a fair division of the assets – short term and long term
- Drafting a Consent Order to conclude your agreement
- Advising you on court proceedings and the process involved
- Helping you to implement want you have agreed
- Advising you on applications after divorce, such as variation of maintenance
- Advising you of the likely legal costs involved