Financial Provision & Agreements
If your marriage has irretrievably broken down and you are thinking about divorce, you should also consider making financial provision for you and your family.
What is Financial Provision?
Financial provision is the formal agreement made when you separate from your partner. This financial settlement divides up you and your ex-partner’s assets, while making arrangements for future payments.
It is strongly advised you create a financial agreement to protect your own interests, as well as your entitlements. Additionally, this provision will indicate your responsibilities or potential obligations to your ex-partner and children.
Who Needs a Financial Agreement?
Couples who divorcing or a separating are recommended to form a financial agreement to protect their assets.
However, even those who are just considering splitting up are encouraged to discuss their finances openly and honestly, to make the process more efficient. You cannot make a suitable financial agreement without fully disclosing all your assets and obligations, including debts.
It is always best to be frank when discussing your finances, even if you have significant debt. It will make the process much quicker, and therefore less expensive.
Obtaining Financial Provision
You can normally avoid going to court if you can agree to a reasonable agreement with your ex-partner. Lawyer-supported mediation can help you come to an arrangement, if necessary.
Once you have amicably decided on how to divide property, finances and monetary obligations, you should contact a solicitor.
Family law solicitors can help you draw up a fair financial agreement that suits both parties and your children. They will also make your settlement legally binding without the need for you to attend court. However, if your agreement does result in a court hearing, family law solicitors can represent you on your behalf. This is useful for separated partners who find it difficult to communicate with each other in person.
Types of Financial Provision
There are different types of financial provision you can make, depending on your individual circumstances. The most common issues covered by a financial settlement include:
- The family home
- Any other property
- Child maintenance
- Interim spousal maintenance
- Personal assets (e.g. car)
- Expected assets (e.g. inheritance)
A financial settlement can help you understand how these assets will be divided between you and your ex-partner.
It is also a good idea to take other unforeseen expenses into account, such as legal fees.
Making a Financial Settlement Out of Court
You and your ex-partner can form financial provision without drawing up any official paperwork. However, without the help of family law solicitors, your settlement will not be legally binding. This means if your ex-partner breaks the agreement, the court will be unable to enforce it.
Family law solicitors are the right people to make a legally binding financial settlement. Furthermore, your lawyer will have the agreement approved by the court, and will be upheld should you encounter any problems with your ex-partner in the future.
Many individuals find it especially important to make child maintenance payments legally binding, as they rely on these for the welfare and upkeep of their children.
Once you have started the paperwork for your divorce, you can apply for financial provision with the help of your solicitor. Nevertheless, if you have already applied for the final document which terminates your divorce, you cannot acquire a financial settlement. This document is known as the decree absolute, or a final order for those separating in a civil partnership.
Knowing the correct timings and legal documents required when applying for a financial agreement can be challenging. This is why family law solicitors are the best people to help you ensure the process moves quickly and efficiently.
What Happens if You Can’t Agree on Financial Provision?
If you can’t form a fair and reasonable financial agreement with your ex-partner, the court can get involved. This can cost more time and money. Although, with the distress which comes with getting a divorce, it is understandable that coming to an agreement is not easy.
To have the court involved in your settlement, it costs £255 to make the initial application. A family law solicitor can assist with you the varying deadlines and paperwork, which is essential for the court’s involvement.
The court will decide how to divide your money and property based on a number of factors, including your:
- Total assets
- Earning potential
- Living costs
- The length of time you have been married or in a civil partnership
Finally, the process of acquiring financial provision through the court can take up to a year, including your appointments and hearings.
Family Law Solicitors for Financial Provision
Major Family Law has an expert team of family law solicitors to assist you with a financial settlement. We understand a divorce or separation can be a difficult and emotional process, which is why we work to form a financial solution quickly and effectively.
Contact us and learn how Major Family Law can form a financial settlement which results in the best outcome for you. We can help you reach your own financial agreement or, if you and your ex-partner cannot decide, represent you in court. Call us today on 01661 82 45 82 for more information on financial provision.