We focus on our clients needs, offering sensible, pragmatic and cost effective advice which works for the long term future of all concerned.
1. Is everything always split 50/50?
No. The housing needs of both spouses, and before that the needs of the children are paramount. Housing needs can often override any equal division of assets.
If there is sufficient money and assets to meet both spouses’ needs then an equal division of the assets may be appropriate. However, “non-matrimonial assets” (such as inheritance or assets acquired prior to the marriage) may be treated differently in some circumstances and not be subject to an equal division.
2. Will I have to pay maintenance/ how much maintenance will I receive?
Maintenance is not always payable by one spouse to another and how much is paid depends on various factors. There is no scientific formula. We will need to look at all of the circumstances, including the length of the marriage as well as yours and your spouse’s income and earning capacities and weigh this against the financial settlement as a whole.
If maintenance should be paid but you and your spouse do not want to be tied to each other, we can look at other options and assets available to “capitalise” any maintenance into a lump sum so that you both have a clean break.
3. I have inheritance, do I get to keep it?
The Courts do distinguish between matrimonial assets and non-matrimonial assets, i.e. those built up during the marriage and assets brought in by either spouse outside of the marriage.
If there is enough money available to meet both spouses’ needs then you may be able to say your inheritance is a non-matrimonial asset so that this is not shared equally between you and your spouse.
It is important to look carefully at all of the assets and how these were brought in to the marriage.
4. Will we have to go to Court?
No, financial matters can be settled without any need to attend at Court.
We may advise you to issue proceedings, but only where it is in your interests to do so. Even where Court proceedings are issued there are a number of opportunities to settle your case without the need for a final hearing.
5. How much will it cost?
This will depend upon the complexities involved and the route taken to reach a settlement. However, we are different to other solicitors in that in many cases we are able to offer you a fixed fee for the work involved in resolving financial issues on divorce. Whilst many firms offer a fixed fee for the divorce, work in relation to the financial issues is then charged on an hourly basis. Where possible, we will provide you with the option of a fixed fee.
6. My ex-partner has entered into a new relationship with a very wealthy person. I believe that I should therefore keep the majority of the capital from the marriage as my partner will be adequately provided for by her new partner. Is this correct?
Unfortunately, in simplistic terms, no. If the relationship is very new then it may breakdown. Your ex-partner will not gain any rights of maintenance interest in her new partner's capital if she is cohabiting in the short term. Your ex-partner will have to be provided for from the marital assets but the cohabitation may be one of the factors that can be taken into account when reaching a final settlement.
7. My spouse has stated that they want 50% of my pension. I have a good pension most of which was accrued before we married, will they still be entitled to 50%?
There are a number of factors which will be considered when looking at the pension. The parties' ages and the length of the marriage will be two contributing factors. They will also have to consider whether there will are other assets that could be used to offset the Pension Sharing Orders. Pensions are an area that raises many queries and you will need expert advice not only from a legal point of view but also financially as some pensions may be worth more in the long run than they initially appear on paper.
To discuss this further please telephone us 0121 355 0011 for a no obligation free discussion.