Divorce Without a Financial Settlement
Deciding how to divide any financial assets at the end of a marriage is one of the most complicated aspects of finalising a divorce. Obtaining a financial settlement is imperative to achieving a clean break and moving on with your lives, without having the threat of future claims hanging over you.
What is a financial settlement?
Most assets which have been acquired or built up during the course of marriage will be added to the ‘matrimonial pot’ upon divorce. The most important element is normally the matrimonial home, but there can also be substantial assets in the form of pensions, personal savings and business assets.
Once the full extent of the matrimonial pot has been calculated, the divorcing parties must decide how to split the assets. This will involve negotiation and possibly mediation, followed up with an agreement which is written down and turned into a consent order which needs to be rubber stamped by the court to make it legally enforceable. This overall process and the ensuing agreement is known as the financial settlement.
Can you get a divorce without a financial settlement?
Many couples will obtain a divorce without making any formal arrangements regarding finances.
Sometimes this is because they are parting ways amicably and do not wish to enter protracted negotiations about money – and sometimes the financial affairs are so simple and straightforward that it seems like there is nothing to fight over (eg if there are virtually no assets to divide).
The official legal process – obtaining a decree nisi and eventually a decree absolute – does not mandate that the divorcing couple obtain a financial settlement.
And deciding on arrangements regarding any young children from the marriage (eg. which parent they live with and how often they visit the other parent etc.) will generally take a front seat, often leaving financial affairs as more of an afterthought.
Divorce without a financial settlement case study:
Wyatt v Vince: what happened where a couple did not obtain a financial settlement?
In the 2015 case of Wyatt v Vince, the Supreme Court allowed the ex-wife of a multimillionaire to pursue a financial claim against her ex-husband almost 20 years after their divorce. Dale Vince married Kathleen Wyatt in 1981 when they were both impoverished new age travellers living on state benefits.
They separated in 1984 and got divorced in 1992. Mr Vince subsequently founded green energy supplier Ecotricity which led to him accumulating an estimated wealth in excess of £100 million.
In 2010, Ms Wyatt lodged a claim for financial support which was initially blocked by the Court of Appeal. But the Supreme Court overturned this ruling, setting the precedent that there is no time limit for ex spouses to make financial claims against one another (although in the event she was only awarded £300,000).
How do I get a financial settlement?
As has been discussed above, obtaining a financial settlement is quite separate from getting a divorce, even though they should generally go hand in hand.
In order to get a financial settlement, aside from the negotiation, one of the most important aspects is obtaining a consent order – which can either be done through a traditional solicitor or for a fraction of the cost online (also drafted by a qualified solicitor).
If there are no assets to separate, a clean break order can ensure that no future claims are made (ie helping to prevent the type of situation which arose in the case of Wyatt v Vince).
Our Financial Services
We offer a variety of financial consent order services to suit your needs and budget. Our services on average will see you over £750 without compromising on the service you receive.
All our financial settlement services are drafted by our highly qualified solicitors. We are trading standards approved, have a 5-star rating on trust pilot from over 3000 satisfied clients and are part of the solicitor’s regulations authorities.
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Each of our services can help you deal with your finances whilst saving you thousands in legal fees.
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Can include selling property, transferring property, making a pension sharing order or paying over money as well as splitting your assets & money.
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Settlement is drafted by qualified family law solicitors