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How To Reach a Divorce Financial Settlement

Reaching a financial settlement when going through a divorce can be hard for many couples.

The divorcing couple must ascertain the full value of matrimonial assets – including property, pensions, savings, and business assets – and then decide how to divide up the resulting “matrimonial pot”.

There is no one fits all approach to splitting assets upon divorce as every couple has different circumstances.

However, on this page, we explain some of the basic rules around dividing assets as part of a divorce settlement and show you what ‘fair’ means in the eyes of the law.

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    Divorce Settlement Advice

    Divorce-Online has helped 150,000 couples obtain a divorce and financial settlement since 1999.

    Get in touch with us to find out what you’re entitled to and how we can help you save thousands in legal fees by avoiding solicitors.

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      Request a Free Callback From Our Experts

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      Divorce Settlement Advice

      Divorce-Online has helped 150,000 couples obtain a divorce and financial settlement since 1999.

      Get in touch with us to find out what you’re entitled to and how we can help you save thousands in legal fees by avoiding solicitors.

      Contact Us

      Give us a ring to speak to a member of our team for reliable answers. Or you can fill out our contact form and we’ll ring you back.
      01793 384 029
      Our phone lines are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

      Form – Callback Request Form

        Request a Free Callback From Our Experts

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        Frequently Asked Questions

        What is a typical fair divorce settlement?

        On divorce, the aim is to divide the assets fairly. Fairness does not necessarily mean an equal division of assets. It simply means that the parties must be left in the position of equal standing irrespective of the roles of breadwinner and homemaker.

        A range of aspects need to be taken into consideration, such as length of marriage, future needs, earning potential, standard of living and so on.

        4 Typical UK Divorce Settlement Examples

        How do I make my financial settlement legally binding?

        To make any financial agreement legally binding, you must apply to the court to approve it. Without the approval of the court, your agreement is not recognised in law.

        The court in this case would have no powers to enforce your agreement if one party fails to carry out what has been agreed.

        To make your financial settlement legally binding, you need to have a solicitor draft you a financial consent order and submit it to the court for approval.

        Clean Break Consent Order for £399

        What is classed as matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets?

        Matrimonial assets are assets that you have built up or acquired during the period of marriage, these typically include;

        • Property
        • Pensions
        • Savings
        • Personal belongings
        • Cash in the bank
        • Vehicles

        Non-matrimonial assets are usually treated differently from those built up or acquired during the period of marriage, however, they aren’t necessarily excluded from a divorce settlement.

        For example, if an inheritance has been used during the marriage to purchase a car or house, this asset would now be classed as a marital asset.

        Assets that you bring into the marriage can include savings, property, pensions, and businesses for example.

        You can go some way to protecting your assets before getting married if you have a prenuptial agreement drawn up for you by a legal professional to safeguard your assets.

        Do I need legal advice before agreeing to a divorce settlement?

        Seeking professional legal advice is always recommended when it comes to your money and assets.

        Knowing exactly what you’re entitled to can ensure that you achieve a fair outcome for both parties. However, it is not required in law to obtain legal advice.

        The majority of couples seeking a divorce will come to an agreement amicably and present their financial agreement to the Judge without legal advice.

        Can spousal behaviour change what you’re entitled to?

        Financial misconduct such as excessive gambling, unjustified lavish spending, or placing assets beyond the reach of one of the spouses – often falls under the umbrella term of ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

        However, this type of behaviour does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to more in a divorce settlement.

        Courts are generally more likely to consider financial misconduct than personal misconduct when it comes to the divorce financial settlement.

        These cases, however, are still rare rather than the norm.

        Grounds for Divorce & Entitlement

        Can we negotiate a divorce settlement ourselves without solicitors?

        Many divorcing couples can negotiate a divorce settlement on their own, without the need for solicitors. If parties can come to an agreement on the division of all money and assets, they can use an online consent order service to make it legally binding.

        If there are significant assets involved or complex finances, or if the former spouses are no longer on speaking terms, lawyers will need to get involved.

        But in the case of amicable parties with straightforward finances, they will be able to follow a DIY approach.

        Is it possible to protect assets during a divorce?

        Assets that were ringfenced before marriage and reinforced by a prenuptial agreement might potentially be excluded from the matrimonial pot.

        However, most assets will form part of the matrimonial pot.

        Steps should not be taken to hide or dispose of any assets which could otherwise be included in the matrimonial pot; doing so can lead to penalties being applied by the court.

        Why do I need to bother thinking about my finances?

        It is vital that both divorcing parties settle their financial situation as part of the divorce procedure.

        As well as clarifying matters and meeting any immediate needs such as maintenance payments, a financial settlement will prevent future claims which may arise even many years later.

        It also legally binds both parties to stick to any financial undertakings, such as an agreement to sell the marital home and split any equity.