When a couple separate and obviously need to deal with their finances it is really important that the family lawyer advising has all of the information that they need. So I need to know how much the house is worth and whether there are any pensions and what savings there might be or any other investments. It is only having that full picture that I can then advise either party on what’s best for them. It’s obviously important to have something that both can agree upon but of course they are both usually coming at it from very different circumstances. Quite often in a lengthy marriage it is the wife that has stayed at home, looked after the children, they might have had a part-time job and the husband who has been, I suppose the breadwinner, who has worked longer hours earned more has a higher pension. So when I am advising men who have high pensions because they have been the breadwinner in the relationship, they often ask why should I share my pension with my wife, why should she have half of it, why is she entitled but it is a marital asset and the wife is entitled to have a share of it as perhaps the husband is entitled to assets that the wife has held so it is actually that it is part of all of the matrimonial assets that has to be considered.
Dads are often concerned that they won’t see their children or that they will spend less time with them after they have separated certainly sadly some mothers will try to reduce the time or it may be that arrangements such as school mean that time is limited but a mother can’t stop the father seeing his children and certainly if mother won’t agree then the couple can go to mediation or dad can make an application to the Court to make sure that he continues to have a good relationship with his children. From the wife’s point of view the concern is usually whether she will have to leave her home and the home that she has created for the children. It is actually what’s in the children’s best interests, they are the Court’s paramount consideration so provided that the mother and wife can continue to pay the mortgage and pay the bills, then she won’t be forced from her home in most circumstances whilst the children are minors so their routine isn’t disrupted.