If you are going through a divorce or separation you will need to come to an agreement about your finances. You can do this with, or without the help of a family law solicitor, although you may wish to take advice on your options and make sure any agreement you reach is confirmed in writing and, if advised, made into a court order.
How solicitors can help you achieve a financial settlement
A family law solicitor can help in a number of ways – by advising on the approach to take and the facts the court would take into account if they were asked to get involved; by negotiating with your spouse (normally via their solicitors) or if necessary by preparing your case and presenting it to the Courts for a Judge’s decision on the division of matrimonial assets.
Agreeing a divorce settlement without solicitors
You may be able to come to a mutually acceptable agreement about your family finances without the help of a solicitor. It is, however, very important to consider the following:
- Is the proposed settlement fair?
- Does it take into account the needs of any children and who will be looking after the children?
- Does the settlement take into account all assets held by both parties, including property, pensions, shares, business interests, savings and investments?
- Have you, or should you, obtain proper valuations for significant assets before agreeing the division between you?
If you have doubts on any of these points it is best to take specialist advice.
Having come to a mutually agreed settlement it is important to have a formal agreement drawn up to reflect your decision. This is done in the form of a Consent Order which once approved and sealed by the Court is a legally binding document. If it is a clean break order, this means that no further financial claims can be made by either party.
Why you need a consent order
Without a consent order it would be possible for your spouse or ex-spouse to make a claim in the future. So, for example, if you won the lottery or received an inheritance your ex might be able to claim a share.
A Woolley & Co family lawyer can draw up a consent order, often for a fixed fee. Call 0800 321 3832 to discuss your requirements with one of our friendly, knowledgeable lawyers.