Many people believe that once the marriage is dissolved their ex-spouse will no longer have a claim on their finances. This is not necessarily the case. If the finances are not dealt with on divorce then your ex-spouses claims remain open on you and your claims remain open upon them. There are certain conditions which end claims upon you such as your ex-spouses remarriage, but it is not advisable to rely on these things.
You can deal with the division of the finances on divorce without the need to go to court. This is usually done through a Consent Order. A Consent Order will divide the assets as the parties agree and dismiss any further claims upon both parties’ assets, and usually their estate upon death.
If a Consent or Financial Order is not sought your ex-spouse will most likely still have a claim on your finances.
So you may be wondering how you would go about obtaining a Consent Order. Firstly you would need to go through the process of voluntary financial disclosure. This is when both parties gather together documentary evidence of their financial position i.e 12 months banks statements, 3 months wage slips, P60, pension valuation, valuation of all properties owned, mortgage redemption statement, valuation of any additional policies, stocks, shares etc, evidence of any benefits claimed. This documentary evidence is then exchanged so that your legal advisers have an understanding of both parties’ financial positions. You can then be provided with legal advice and come to a reasonable proposal of how the finances should be divided. The period of negotiation then begins.
Some solicitors will draft a Consent Order without going through disclosure. However, if disclosure is not done, and one party has assets the other isn’t aware of, the Consent Order is potentially challengeable. In order to make sure your Order offers you as much protection as possible it is best to go through disclosure.
Once both parties have agreed upon the division of the assets a Consent Order can be drafted. This is approved by both parties and their legal advisers before being posted to the court. The Consent Order will be placed before a Judge who will hopefully approve it. Once it is approved it becomes a legally binding document.
The above process does not necessarily need to be done at the same time as your divorce. However, your finances will be looked at as they are at the time you do deal with the finances, they will not back track to your financial position on divorce. Parties financial positions do change and so it is best to deal with it at the time of your divorce.
So how much does all this cost you must be wondering. That really depends upon the parties, the more disclosure and the longer the period of negotiation the more it will cost. Ordinarily the whole process can cost as little as £600.00 or as much as £4,000.00.
For more information contact a member of our family team today.
Faye Remnant is part of our Family Law team based in Loughborough; our Solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.
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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.