If you find yourselves facing financial hardship, or disagreements concerning money start to arise, it can trigger family issues. How much money you have, how you’re spending your money and debt are all important areas that can impact on a relationship.
And in the midst of a separation or divorce, the financial implications can be an added and unwanted stress in a time of already heightened emotions.
So what do you do if you find yourself in a situation where you and your partner are having disputes over your finances?
We take a look at what you need to know in order to move forward.
If you are going through a divorce, it is important to be aware that in England and Wales, being divorced does not end your financial relationship to each other. For that you need a financial order in place that has to be separately applied for within your divorce.
Financial orders are legally binding and determine how your finances will be separated when your relationship ends. Things that can be included are:
- Rights to property
If you choose not to issue Divorce proceedings and you are able to discuss a financial settlement with your spouse, this could also be recorded in a Separation Agreement which forms a contract that the Divorce Court is likely to enforce in the future if it was entered into properly with legal advice.
What factors are taken into consideration when trying to reach a financial settlement?
When you need a financial settlement, there are multiple conditions that will be taken into consideration. If you have children, they will of course be the first priority and their financial support and welfare will be considered.
Other factors that will be considered include:
- The financial needs of both parties
- Your financial income and capital
- How old you both are and how long you have been married
- The standard of living enjoyed by both parties before the breakdown of the marriage
- Any physical disability or mental incapacity of either party
- The contributions made by both parties
- The behaviour of either party that was so extreme that it would be unfair to disregard it
Who creates financial settlement agreements?
It is not enough to simply write out an agreement and you both sign it. For an agreement to later become binding if one of you attempted to move the goalposts a number of factors must be shown to have been considered and it is best to seek legal advice when you have an agreement to make sure it is as water tight at that stage as possible.
If you are unable to come to an agreement between yourselves on a financial settlement through mediation or other means, then you may need to apply for a financial order. This can be a complex process so it is advisable to use the services of an experienced family lawyer to help you through the process.
What should I do next?
There are several different ways a financial settlement can be reached, and this does not necessarily mean you will need to attend court. You may be able to reach an agreement with your partner through negotiation, arbitration, mediation or collaboration.
Our specialist family law team will strive to get you a quick resolution.
Where can I find out more information?
If you would like to find out more, speak to one of our family law specialists on 0800 614 722.