One of the hardest things people must negotiate through a divorce is the dividing of the assets and finances. Especially if the divorce isn’t amicable, financial disputes can cause you and your family unnecessary stress and turmoil. At Hill and Company, we are experts in dealing with financial settlements, so that you and your family can get the outcome that is best for you.
Is it Amicable?
In many divorce cases, both parties manage to agree on financial settlements amongst themselves.
If an agreement can’t be reached, you can instruct a solicitor to help with mediation, negotiation or collaboration. Hill and Company have decades of experience in helping you resolve your situation, with your best interests at heart.
Whether you reach a financial decision amicably or with legal help, you will still have to make an application to the Court for financial order so that it is a legally binding contract.
If you haven’t got an amicable agreement, the Court will determine the outcome of the dividing of the assets.
When the Court determines which spouse gets what, they will always consider the welfare of any children first. They will then consider:
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a part to the marriage to take steps to acquire.
- Financial needs and obligations of each party, of both now and in the foreseeable future
- The standard of living enjoyed prior to the breakdown of the marriage
- The age of the parties and the length of the marriage
- Any disabilities of the parties
- The contributions of each party (if one of the parties has stayed at home to raise the children and care of the home then that is counted as a full contribution)
- The conduct of each party, only if it is so serious that the Court cannot ignore it
If you don’t decide on an amicable financial split, most cases follow a 10 step process.
Step 1 – Send the financial order (Form A) to the Court
Step 2 – You will get a date for a short appointment with the Court and directions setting out what documents need to be filed with the court and by when
Step 3 – Each party sends a financial statement (Form E) at least 5 weeks before the First Directions Appointment date
Step 4 – You file the following documents two weeks before your First Directions Appointment:
- A concise statement of issues
- A timeline of events
- A questionnaire to address any issues from your financial statement
- A Form G which tells the court if they can combine the FDA meeting with a Financial Dispute Resolution meeting
Step 5 – Send Form H to the court, which lists any costs that have occurred
Step 6 – The FDA meeting takes place, in which the judge will decide what further information is required from each party, or from jointly instructed experts in order to move forward towards settlement.
Step 7 – Both sides must provide evidence and proposals to the Court for the financial settlement, as well as provide updated costs from the process
Step 8 – Your Financial Dispute Resolution will take place, in which both parties are encouraged to agree to a settlement. At this hearing, the Judge will provide an indication as to what he or she would order in the event this was a final hearing. If there is no settlement, the judge will set a final hearing date to take place before a new Judge.
Step 9 – If no negotiation has taken place, both parties must submit further proposals about what they want from the settlement
Step 10 – The final hearing takes place, in which the judge will decide on a financial settlement.
For the easiest financial settlement process possible, we recommend following these top tips:
- Communicate clearly to your ex-spouse about what you want and what you are willing to give
- Ensure you provide all the relevant information and paperwork to your solicitor so that the process isn’t held up – this also means your solicitor will give you the expert guidance needed
- Have realistic expectations – there will always be a financial impact on both parties, as the assets are being divided in half
If you’re considering a divorce and want some advice on how to divide your assets, or if you’re currently going through a divorce and want expert guidance on settling your financial disputes, book in a free consultation with a divorce solicitor today here: http://d36.co/13fBQ