At the same time as the proceedings for divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership are progressing, it is usual to deal with the parties financial claims against each other with a view to sorting out how the assets should be divided and what the financial arrangement between the parties in the future should be.
The types of claims that parties may have against the other are for property, income, lump sums, maintenance and pensions. These claims can also be made in respect to children of the family.
There are a variety of ways to try to deal with financial claims, such as the parties negotiating themselves, negotiating through solicitors, attending mediation or going through the collaborative process or court proceedings.
There is a four-stage procedure for resolving financial issues:
- Financial disclosure
Both parties must make full, frank and honest disclosure of their respective financial positions. This includes detailing (with documents as proof) their property, savings, assets, investments, incomes, business interests, pensions, interest under trusts, liabilities, outgoings and needs.
Once the disclosure process has been completed and we know what and how much is in the financial ‘pot’, we try to reach an agreement.
Assuming an agreement is reached, the parties should obtain a court order, which is usually drafted by solicitors due to the legal content. This is called a Consent Order.
Once the order is made by the court, the terms need to be implemented to put settlement into effect.
If one party will not co-operate in the disclosure process or if a financial agreement cannot be negotiated, an application can be made to the court for the judge to handle the case and, if necessary, make a decision as to what the financial arrangements between the parties should be. This will then be made into a Order.
There are three types of financial orders that the court can make:
- Capital orders – dealing with the transfer or sale of property, the payment of cash from one party to another;
- Income orders – dealing with maintenance to be paid by one party to the other or for school fees to be paid;
- Pension orders – dealing with the sharing of pension or pension attachment.
We have extensive experience in dealing with all aspects of the financial process and will guide you through each stage and advise you accordingly. We aim to conduct cases in a constructive and timely manner so as to minimise conflict and reduce costs.