12 June, 2020

How Can You Financially Prepare for Divorce?

It’s stressful enough when you’re living through a relationship breakdown but it is crucial to be aware of your financial situation when you are facing a divorce. Whether you married in church or had a civil partnership in a registry office, you might be hoping to handle the legal work yourself. In reality, however, dissolving a marriage is a complex process for which you are likely to need the professional help from legal experts such as Cartwright King solicitors who will help you to sort out your finances when divorcing and will guide you throughout the whole process.

We are all familiar with the concept of a “prenuptial agreement” which determines what will happen to the couple’s finances in the event of a relationship breaks or a divorce, but how many people think to sort this out.  Whilst it is eminently practical, lots of people view it as rather unromantic – until their relationship breaks down of course.

Sorting out a divorce or dissolution of marriage on your own

When you and your ex-partner agree on the conditions of a divorce or dissolution, you can try to arrange it by yourself. It is often quite a different matter, however, when there are children involved. It is possible that, if you do not have children, reaching an agreement about the finances can be done with relative ease. The same applies where there are adult children who are no longer dependent on you.

Dependency is an important factor.  If one of you is dependent on the other, for example where one of you works and the other does not and is supported financially by their partner, the process of sorting out the matrimonial finances may be long and difficult.

Whilst you can sort out your divorce yourself in England and Wales, the law is quite different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, when you have children who are not yet 16 years old, you cannot use the option of simplified divorce or dissolution. As a citizen of Northern Ireland, the do-it-yourself option requires you to represent yourself in court – something lots of us would quake at.

There are many advantages of doing things by yourself because that is cheaper and you have direct control over what you decide to do. But if your ex-partner is not willing to agree with you on some issues, dealing with a divorce on your own may not be the best option.

Professional help when things get complicated

To prevent a lengthy and bitter divorce, you may need some professional help. A solicitor will make your agreement legally binding and will help you get through divorce. You can find different solutions that will help you to get through the process of divorce. Mediators can be helpful when you want to agree on how to split investments, property and savings. Before applying to the court, mediation is needed, and you will need to show that you have participated in meetings to see whether this solution is right for you. Exceptions are family situations where domestic abuse was involved. A professional solicitor is needed in cases when one of you or both are running a business, or when you have a child financially dependent on you.

Financial security after a divorce

Two people with independent sources of income have better financial status than just one earning money. But it happens that in a marriage, one person is giving up their professional career, for example, to raise children. In this case, such a person has a right to assert their claims in the court. It is best to hire a solicitor, who is going to give you information about your financial rights that you would not otherwise be aware of. You have to remember that it is not the cheapest way to handle a divorce, but will be beneficial in the future as you will secure your assets.

Remember about calling a professional solicitor if you have a medical problem or disability that affects your ability to earn. Also, if in order to raise children, you were forced to quit your job.

The last factor that should lead you to getting professional help is a situation when one of you has more assets than the other. That occurs, e.g., when your home is registered in the name of one person, or if one of you managed to earn a much higher pension than the other party during their working life).

Summary

Just counting the potential court costs during a lengthy trial gives you a clear picture that divorce is neither pleasant nor cheap. Sorting things out in harmony pays off. It is worth getting along, even with uneasy relations. If we let the court decide for us, it may turn out that we will not only incur high costs, but we will get less than we expected.

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