Although the separation and formal dissolution of the marriage might be straight forward, separating your finances from those of your partner can often prove to be the ground of greatest contention. It is possible to find simple calculators online which can help you to think about how your property, assets and liabilities, together with regular payments that you make or receive will feature in any overall agreement. (You can find the government run agency, The Money Advice Service’s divorce calculator here.)
If you have reached agreement with your spouse, however formal or informal, we can advise you whether the agreement is in your best interests, and we can apply for a court order to make it legally binding.
You will need to know what your rights to any finances are, what you are legally entitled to, what you should insist on and what could be the subject of negotiation. This will include lump sum or one-off payments and any regular payments of maintenance from one spouse to anther. If your finances change after separation you may need to apply to change those maintenance payments.
You will need first to apply to court for a financial settlement order (the form can be found here - Form A - we recommend getting legal advice). If you and your partner disagree, there might be further negotiation outside court. If you are unable to reach agreement, the court will decide how to split your assets based on representations made by each side at court. The court will make financial arrangements for any children first and try and achieve a clean break. It will take into account the ages, earning potential, living expenses and standard of living and the role the spouse as the breadwinner or for example, the stay-at-home carer. This is true too for civil partnerships. Settlements can be more difficult where there are larger assets, property or a family business involved. Bearing in mind your future financial independence rests upon the fairness of the division of the assets, you are best served being represented by an expert barrister who can speak on your behalf.