Many people don’t realise that getting divorced doesn’t automatically agree how your finances should be split. We see clients who haven’t reached a financial arrangement because they didn’t think it was necessary, or simply forgot to do it, and they leave themselves open to financial claims years after their divorce is final.
The answer is to obtain a financial resolution (or Ancillary Relief as it called by the court). This is a process requiring lots of evidential information from both parties, including bank statements, pension records, mortgage statements, investment statements and wage slips or proof of income documents.
It is essential that all the correct documentation is produced and disclosed throughout the proceedings and that any agreement reached is recorded in a Consent Order which needs to be drawn up by a lawyer. If an agreement is reached and the agreement is not placed in a court order, it is not legally binding and one party could make a future claim against the other. For this reason, you should always instruct a lawyer to obtain a Consent Order even if you have reached an informal agreement.
If you haven’t yet reached an agreement, then speak to a specialist family solicitor to safeguard your financial interests and make sure any financial settlement is fair. They will collate and correctly lodge all the supporting documentation whilst calmly negotiating the best outcome on your behalf. It is quite common for one party to look after the finances in a relationship, and the other party isn’t always aware of the full extent of their finances. Could this apply to you? Your family solicitor will be alert to this and will make sure that all assets are disclosed and included in the settlement.