the Divorce process, we would advise that it essential to deal with the
matrimonial finances before the Divorce
is final. This is because the parties can make a financial claim
against each other even after the Decree Absolute (the document which
finalises the divorce) if there is no sealed financial order in place.
Ideally, parties would try to reach an agreement on the finances with assistance from mediators or their solicitors, and then have it drafted into an agreed order known as a Consent Order. However, before we can advise on a financial settlement, there must be financial disclosure between the parties. This is where both parties provide details of their income, assets and liabilities, as well as their pension(s). This can involve production of documentation such as pay slips, bank statements and loan agreements.
In considering any financial settlement, the starting point is always to consider what goes into the ‘matrimonial pot’. There may be sums which are not included, such as if one party had a pension prior to meeting the other party, and they have not paid into it since – but generally the Court will need a good reason to depart from equality; there is often such a reason. The Court will consider different factors under s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, such as the length of the marriage, the parties’ financial resources, and their future respective earning capacities and this can result in a departure from equality. How the numerous factors are applied depends on the facts of the case and so legal advice based on your situation is essential.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking the divorce is the end of it. Obtain legal advice at Giles Wilson today to ensure you are adequately protected.