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Financial Matters are often the most difficult to resolve on the breakdown of a relationship. Whether you are experiencing difficulties following the breakdown of a relationship, or you want to protect yourself from future disputes, our family law specialists can help you to safeguard your finances and assets at every stage:
- Financial Matters on Separation, Divorce or Dissolution
- Unmarried Couples and Financial Disputes
Financial Matters on Separation, Divorce or Dissolution
Fixed and Capped Fees Available
Resolving financial matters on a separation can be the most stressful issue for many couples. At Premier Solicitors we specialise in assisting when one household has to become two.
We can provide advice about the various different ways that financial matters can be resolved including:
- Separation Agreements
- Agreements reached directly
- Negotiations through solicitors correspondence
- Consent Orders
- Form Es (Financial Statements)
- Court proceedings
We can provide detailed advice about the mediation process and advise as to whether this is suitable for your case. Our family solicitors will be able to refer you and your spouse or partner to specialist family mediators to help you discuss matters amicably, while providing you with advice and guidance about the law and your rights during the mediation process.
Once an agreement has been reached, either directly, at mediation or through correspondence it is important to make your agreement legally binding by entering into a Consent Order. If you instruct us to prepare a Consent Order (the document which makes your agreement legally binding), we can do so on a fixed fee basis.
If matters can’t be resolved without Court proceedings, we have the experience to help you achieve the result you deserve.
Whichever route you chose for resolving your financial matters, we will be able to guide you through the stages, providing clear advice on the law and procedure.
Contact one of our family law solicitors today on 01234 358080 to find out where you stand and what options are available.
Maintenance is often a big cause of concern upon a separation. There are two types of maintenance; spousal maintenance (or periodical payments) and child maintenance (or child support). Periodical payments can be claimed by a spouse or civil partner during or following a divorce or dissolution and often people don’t realise that this type of maintenance can be on-going. Periodical payments cannot be claimed by unmarried couples on separation.
Click here for more details about child maintenance which is dealt with on our children page.
Whether you need advice on what your former partner might try to claim from you, or whether you need our help to pursue a claim for maintenance, it is important to get clear advice from a specialist solicitor at an early stage to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to, or pay no more than you need to.
Pensions are frequently the most valuable assets on a divorce or dissolution. Our family solicitors understand that ensuring that you are financially secure on retirement is a priority and our expert knowledge of the Court’s powers and the options available for pensions on divorce will ensure that your future is not forgotten.
Unmarried Couples and Financial Disputes
The terms common-law wife or husband are frequently used to describe partners who live together, but these terms are misleading because they have no legal standing. The law governing unmarried couples is based on property law principles and unmarried couples will need advice from a family law solicitor specialising in this area.
Whether the property is in joint names or one party’s sole name we can help with disputes between unmarried partners. We also have a specialist Property Litigation department within the firm so you can be sure that alongside our specialist family team, we have the knowledge to provide you with clear advice.
Frequently Asked Questions – finances
Do we have to go through the Court about our finances?
A Court application is not always necessary and there a lots of alternative options for resolving financial matters.
For married couples or civil partners, an agreement must be approved by the Court in order to be legally binding. This doesn’t mean that a Court application or hearing is necessary but a Judge must read the agreement and approve it.
The agreement must be drafted into a Consent Order by a specialist family law solicitor.
How will I afford the repayments on the mortgage by myself?
On the breakdown of the marriage the Courts have a wide range of powers and orders that they can make in regards to the parties finances. As a result they will make orders to ensure that each party has enough finance to pay for such payments and outgoings. Among other things, this can include spousal maintenance where the Court considers it fair and reasonable.
What is a Clean Break?
A Clean Break is where the financial Order on a divorce or dissolution ends the parties’ financial interdependence and neither party can make a further financial claim against the other in the future. A Clean Break will mean that there are no on-going maintenance obligations.
The Court will order a Clean Break where it is evident that both parties can support themselves. The Court will always endeavour to achieve a Clean Break and put the parties in a position where they do not remain financially tied.
I’ve been at home looking after the kids, no job, no savings, no pension, am I entitled to anything from my spouse or civil partner?
The Court has a duty to follow certain criteria when establishing how to distribute assets on the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership. They will take in to consideration issues such as the age of the parties, the length of the marriage / civil partnership and the contributions of the parties (financial or otherwise). Depending on the circumstances, the Court also has the power to split pensions so that both are entitled to a share if it is fair and reasonable to do so.
Every case is different and the Court looks at the facts of each case individually so it is important to get advice as soon as possible after you separate about your position.
The situation is different for unmarried couples so please speak to a member of our family team about this.
How is he/she going to contribute towards the children?
Parents can come to arrangements themselves without involving authorities; however in some cases it may be necessary to involve the Child Support Agency (CSA) in order to determine what maintenance must be paid.
According to the CSA rules, if the child is under 16 or under 19, unmarried and still in full-time education the non-resident parent will need to pay maintenance to the parent who the child lives with.
If the child is disabled or one of the parties is not resident in the United Kingdom, contribution for the child might be a matter from the Courts to decide.
Speak to one of our family law solicitors to find out more about child maintenance.
I am going to mediation; do I still need to see a solicitor?
Yes. It is important to get legal advice alongside mediation so that you know what you are entitled to and can negotiate a fair settlement at mediation.
If an agreement is reached at mediation, you will still need a solicitor to prepare the Consent Order to make your agreement legally binding.
Do I have to attend mediation before issuing Court Proceedings?
The government is trying to reduce the number of cases that go to Court and encouraging people to try to reach agreements over financial matters wherever possible. Before making an application to Court, you will be required first to see a mediator for a ‘Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting’ (MIAM). The mediator will consider with you whether mediation with the other party should be attempted before Court proceedings are started. We can advise you whether you are required to attend a ‘MIAM’ and help make a referral to a mediation service.
Call us today on 01234 35 80 80 to speak to a member of our qualified team.
Arrange to meet us to discuss your plans for your civil partnership at our office in Bedford.
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