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Helping a couple work out a financial settlement following a divorce is one of the key tasks of a family lawyer. Because the financial settlement plays such a key role in the type of future each spouse may have following the divorce, disputes over “who gets what” can quickly escalate.
Our London based, family law solicitors, headed by Ms. Jordana Adams, are committed to providing clients with the best practical advice available when it comes to working out the financial settlement during a divorce.
With over five years’ experience in family law and litigation, Ms. Adams is a member of Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers who follow a strict Code of Practice and undertake extensive, ongoing training with an aim to resolve family law matters in a constructive, non-confrontation manner. Resolution members also campaign for improvements to the family justice system.
OTS Solicitors strives to assist couples to resolve financial disputes in a non-confrontational manner. As with all the best divorce lawyers, we work to avoid couples ending up in court. We support them to find workable, long term solutions to resolving financial disputes. This is achieved by encouraging round-table negotiations and mediation, both of which Ms. Adams and her team are highly experienced at organising and facilitating.
How financial agreements are formulated during a divorce
Under English law, financial settlements are reached by assessing the needs of each spouse along with other factors. A 50/50 split of property and assets may be a starting point, but in many cases, it will not provide a fair and reasonable solution. For example, if one party must find a new home for themselves and the couple’s children, a 50/50 split of the assets may not provide the funds necessary to do that.
Helping couples work out a financial settlement between themselves
As members of Resolution, we aim to encourage and support couples to work out a financial settlement between themselves, without having to seek a Financial Order from the court.
Research shows that by encouraging couples to resolve financial disputes between themselves, the settlement they reach is more likely to stick and be workable long-term.
Ms. Adams and her team support clients in this non-confrontational approach to reaching a fair financial settlement by outlining the options available to them, including round-table negotiations and mediation.
If you and your spouse are able to work out how to split the matrimonial property and assets between yourselves, we can draft a Consent Order which will confirm your agreement.
However, if alternative dispute resolution methods do not achieve a financial settlement that you and your spouse can agree on, an application can be made to the court for a Financial Order (formally known as an Ancillary Relief Order).
The starting point for the court when ruling on financial disputes in a divorce is outlined in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1976, section 25. The factors to be considered include:
- the income, earning capacity, property, and other financial resources that each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including, in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity that, in the opinion of the court, should be taken into account
- the financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities that each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage (this is particularly applicable in high-net-worth divorce cases)
- the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage
- any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage
- the contributions that each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family
- the conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would, in the opinion of the court, be inequitable to disregard it
Spousal maintenance is income paid by one spouse to another following a divorce. It is in addition to child maintenance. The amount of spousal maintenance awarded depends on each spouses’ needs and income-earning potential. The current trend is that the court will interpret ‘needs’ generously.
Awards can be made for a short duration, to allow one spouse to get financially on their feet, through to lifetime support. All spousal maintenance orders automatically end on the remarriage of the recipient. Significantly they do not end automatically by law on cohabitation as this does not create a legal commitment between a couple.
It can be difficult for the spouse who is required to pay spousal maintenance to accept that they may have an obligation to financially support their ex-spouse for many years following a divorce. Our family lawyers have the experience required to provide pragmatic advice to the financially stronger or weaker party to the marriage, so they understand what the court may award in terms of spousal maintenance.
Why Choose OTS Solicitors?
divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. Our family law solicitors provide clients not only with the best legal advice and representation but with ongoing support. We genuinely care about protecting our clients’ best interests and ensuring they receive a fair and reasonable financial settlement.
When you instruct our family law team, you can be confident that your needs will be listened to and you will be kept up-to-date throughout the duration of your matter.
Financial disputes relating to a divorce can be settled amicably in many cases, helping families create and preserve the communication and goodwill required to move forward into the future.
For a more detailed discussion regarding your financial dispute, or to book an appointment with a member of our family law team, please call us now on 0203 959 9123.