The Financial Perspective Of My Divorce

A Guide To Divorce Settlements

Going through a divorce is tough enough, but considering how your finances are going to be affected can add extra worry. A divorce financial settlement will set out how your property, pensions, savings and other financial assets will be divided. Although it’s not necessary to have the court involved, by consulting a divorce settlement solicitor, you can ensure your finances are protected.

What are marital assets?

Marital assets or matrimonial assets are financial assets that you and your partner have accumulated over the course of your marriage. Your marital assets can include; the family home, pensions, savings, vehicles, stocks, businesses and other real estate. 

However, non-marital assets are treated differently during the financial settlement process. Non-marital assets can include the examples given above, but the difference is that they were acquired prior to marriage. Although acquired before marriage, these financial assets might be involved in your divorce settlement depending on your specific circumstances.

What am I entitled to in a divorce?

Knowing who gets what in a divorce settlement depends entirely on your individual circumstances. Therefore, the answer to this question is along the lines of “how long is a piece of string”?  Not all matrimonial assets are split 50 / 50 during a divorce. The amount that your spouse is entitled to will be based on a number of factors that are taken into account.  

The courts will assess the relative needs of you and your spouse, especially if there are children involved. For example, if you’re the primary caregiver, you may be entitled to more capital to ensure your children’s wellbeing. Other factors include; length of marriage, pre-relationship assets, earning capacity and income/capital needs.

Can I keep my pension after a divorce?

Your pension is a matrimonial asset and is included in the matrimonial pot.  Many people would like to retain their pension on divorce as it reflects their hard-earned work. 

However, it is not always possible to retain your pension during a divorce. There is an option to off-set it against another asset, although this does have tax implications. Your appointed solicitor will help guide you through this ensuring you get the best financial outcome.

Will I have to give my spouse 50% of everything I have earned over our marriage?

The answer to this question is along the lines of “how long is a piece of string”?  The amount that your spouse is entitled to is based on a number of factors which are taken into account.  Such as, length of marriage, pre-relationship assets, earning capacity and income/capital needs.

How long will the divorce process take?

Knowing how long a divorce financial settlement will take entirely depends on your current circumstances. Typical UK divorce settlements are generally counted in months rather than weeks, but the recent online process offers a speedier option.

Can I draft my own financial settlement with my wife?

Drafting up your own divorce settlements can be a dangerous game. Commonly referred to as ‘kitchen table deals’, agreeing on a settlement with your spouse without taking legal advice is risky and you might not get financial disclosure. 

You are not able to take comfort in the fact that your spouse is being honest about their assets.  You are accepting a deal, or offering a deal, based on figures that you do not know for sure.  For example, if your spouse had £10m hidden away, you would be agreeing to a settlement without that being taken into consideration. This will also prevent you from returning at a later date to make a claim on it. 

It is our job to determine whether the financial settlement that you propose is sufficient.  If a deal is sent to a Judge to be signed off and they determine it to be unfair, they will refuse to sanction the deal.  This is not only time consuming and frustrating, but a waste of costs.

Can I stay in the matrimonial home or will we have to sell it?

The matrimonial home is considered to be a shared marital asset. Any equity and associated debt is part of the matrimonial pot.  If it is deemed appropriate that you stay in the matrimonial home, you can buy out your spouse. This will transfer the property to you, but you will need to pay your spouse their share of equity in the house.

How long does a financial settlement take?

In order to complete a divorce settlement agreement properly, both sides are requested to provide full financial disclosure.  Complex issues may arise when dividing assets that will have to be valued. This can include, pensions, shareholdings and business interests. These aspects can take time to be investigated and quantified.  We will be unable to draft an order until this is completed, which may delay the divorce settlement process.

We are experts in all financial disputes arising from a relationship breakdown. Whether you need negotiation outside the court process or robust representation at court, we are there to steer you through. Benussi & Co. can help you reach a financial settlement during a divorce, civil partnership dissolution or separation.

If you’re going through the divorce process, financial settlements may be weighing heavy on your mind. We can help you reach a financial settlement during a divorce, civil partnership dissolution or separation. Visit our financial settlements page to get further information on the support we can provide.