Frequently asked questions – Divorce finances

What role do the courts play in divorce finances?

The courts will only step in to make rulings over divorce finances if the parties involved apply for it to do so. Therefore, courts normally only become involved when attempts to reach a financial settlement out of court have failed.

If an agreement is made out of court, this takes immediate effect and makes court involvement unnecessary. However, if either party later believes that the agreement is ineffective, they can apply to the court for an order to alter the agreement.

My divorce – is everything split down the middle?

Assets will not necessarily be divided equally, however they are often are after lengthy marriages where both parties have made significant contributions either financially or to family life (e.g. childcare, maintaining the marital home).

Cases where both parties are agreed upon an equal split can be very straightforwardly be sorted out without court intervention, therefore saving time and legal expenses.

Where there are few assets and there are also young children an equal split is likely to be deemed inappropriate. This is because the parent looking after the children will need a greater share of finances.

What is a ‘clean break’ when divorcing?

‘Clean break’ orders can be obtained from the court which stipulate that all financial terms are agreed and no maintenance payments are needed for spousal or child support. Courts will not consider this option if there are insufficient resources for all concerned to subsist.

What does a consent order do?

Consent orders are order made by the courts which essentially make financial arrangements agreed out of court binding and irreversible. Courts require very detailed breakdowns about all assets and liabilities involved in the divorce in order to approve the order. Each party must also provide sworn statements and the court will want to check that they have each received sound legal counsel.

Which financial details need to be disclosed in divorce?

Courts need to know about all assets and liabilities meaning that full disclosure is required. The full list of what the court will expect you to disclose is contained in a sizeable document called Form E, which will be expected to complete. However below is a checklist of some of the main things you will need to to consider:

• Detail all assets held by both you and your spouse

• Work out the equity value of the marital property (its current value minus the amount left on the mortgage)

• Total the value of belongings and savings such as vehicles, deposits etc.

• Value any business you or your spouse own

• Contact insurers to find out the cash value of any endowment policies

• Total any debts held by parties

Live in Salisbury?Need advice on the financial aspects of divorce? Call us today

The financial side of divorce can be very complex which is why it’s so important to have a specialist divorce lawyer on your side. Here at Bonallack & Bishop, our four strong family team are genuine specialists – divorce and family law is all they do.

We have more specialist family law accredition than any other law firm in Salisbury – the team contains two jointly qualified family mediators/lawyers and three fully accredited collaborative lawyers and they are hugely experienced in complicated divorce finances, so, for a free initial advice over the phone and a free 30 minutes appointment on any aspect of family law: