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Importance of a financial settlement after divorce

Signing a certificate of divorceGoing through a divorce can be extremely upsetting and stressful, so the easier you can make the process for all involved, the better.

Finances are usually a big part of that process and can often be a sore spot for any couple parting ways, and when you don’t know where to start or what you’re entitled to it can seem a daunting task. It’s important that you do handle the financial aspect correctly, because in Wales and England, the act of divorce itself doesn’t automatically end the financial relationship between you and your partner.

It’s important to understand that you need to reach a financial settlement and turn that into a court order (most commonly called a consent order) that is different from the divorce itself in order to separate your finances and assets.

The divorce financial settlement

The term divorce financial settlement is used to describe the financial proceedings within a divorce, and it’s used by the court to deal with separating assets and finances in what is known as a consent order.

If you fail to sort out a financial settlement when you’re separating then it may cause problems further down the line, even years after your divorce has been finalised. This is because each party can make financial claims against the other, and there is no time limit for these to be made. Therefore it’s so important to ensure the financial side of the divorce is in order and that you obtain a binding court order stating what the financial arrangements are.

What arrangements are covered by the financial court order?

Arrangements covered by the financial court order may include;

  • Property
  • Money, savings and/or shares
  • Division of debt and pensions
  • Child or spousal maintenance

A financial settlement can be agreed either before or after a divorce has been finalised, though it’s advisable that you do sort out financial matters before either of you decide to remarry.

The divorce process typically takes around five to six months in total, but delaying paperwork is likely to prolong the process. The financial agreement, however, will depend on how amicable you are with your ex-spouse and how complex your financial affairs are.

In most cases, a financial settlement can usually be reached within the same period as the divorce proceedings, and even in the most complicated cases most are able to reach an agreement within months. Once the court has ruled on the financial settlement it will be confirmed by the consent order.

Will the reason for divorce affect the financial settlement?

Many people wonder if adultery or unreasonable behaviour will affect the financial settlement, and the short answer to this question is no.

The grounds for divorce has no influence over the financial settlement. The agreement should be based on fairness, length of marriage and children among other things. It shouldn’t take on board the reason for wanting to end the marriage.

If you need help or advice regarding a financial settlement, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert legal team here at Fonseca Law. We have a wealth of experience in many aspects of law, and we’d be more than happy to help guide you through your case. Contact us today on 01495 303124, e-mail or fill in our online contact form.