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When going through a divorce, separating your finances and achieving a clean break is often the highest priority, but it can also be the most complicated aspect to resolve. Having expert support from family lawyers experienced in these matters is essential, especially where there are complex assets such as pensions, a family business or company shares to consider.
Glanvilles have a wealth of experience in dealing with financial matters following the breakdown of the marriage. We have particular expertise in complex financial matters, including business ownership and international assets, so can provide seasoned expertise and creative solutions to help you achieve a fair settlement that protects your interests.
Our divorce lawyers are very experienced in alternative dispute resolution including the highly effective method of collaborative law. This means we can typically achieve an amicable settlement in even the most complex circumstances.
If alternative dispute resolution is not successful, you may wish to make an application to a family court to get financial matters resolved. Where court proceedings are likely to be the most effective option, we have the experience to support you every step of the way.
Our team of family solicitors will be happy to advise on any aspect of a financial dispute during divorce and separation. We treat all cases with the utmost sensitivity and when necessary, tough litigation skills, making sure you get the outcome you need for your future.
It is common for divorcing couples to want to avoid court proceedings when making a financial settlement, with the preference being to agree between the parties how assets will be divided.
This is an area in which our team are particularly strong and we are often able to achieve a negotiated settlement even where there are complicated issues to resolve. Our team includes a trained collaborative lawyer, Charlotte Woodhouse, who can support you through the popular and highly effective collaborative law process where appropriate.
Collaborative law involves you and your former spouse having a series of meetings with the support of your respective lawyers (who must be trained in collaborative law). This gives you the chance to negotiate a settlement in a constructive way while minimising conflict.
Achieving a settlement this way is usually much faster and less costly than court proceedings, while allowing you to stay in control and keep matters private.
Any financial settlement you agree voluntarily (whether through private negotiation, mediation or collaborative law) will not be legally enforceable. This means either party could, theoretically, simply refuse to honour the terms of the agreement in future.
To give you both certainty for the future, we can apply to a family court for a Consent Order which will make the agreement legally binding on both parties. This means both parties would then have to abide by the terms of the agreement and, should either party fail to do so, the other would be able to take legal action for force compliance with the terms of the Consent Order.
Should you need a court to deal with the division of assets during divorce, we can support you through the entire process, making sure that you understand what is involved, that your case is prepared effectively and that you have the best possible representation for any hearings that take place.
We can assist with preparing and submitting all of the relevant paperwork, as well as gathering all financial documentation and any other evidence required by the court. Our team have established relationships with specialist family law barristers, so can secure expert representation for you.
As part of the court process, you will normally be required to at least consider mediation before making an application to the court for help resolving a financial dispute. We can explain how mediation works and whether it is appropriate for your case.
Should your case go before a judge, they will normally encourage you to make a voluntary agreement wherever possible. If this cannot be achieved, there will be a final hearing where a judge will decide exactly how your finances should be divided. This decision will be legally binding on both parties.
The Courts starting point for any division of assets is an equal division. There may, however, be certain circumstances in which the Court will depart from equality.
The Court will consider all aspects of the case to include the following factors when making orders for a spouse:
If you own a business or shares in a business, a common worry is that you will be forced to sell your business or give half of it to your spouse during divorce. However, this can normally be avoided by offsetting the value of the business against other martial assets, such as your home.
Should you or your spouse take the matter to court, a family court will often take a flexible approach because it is understood that forcing the sale of a business or giving part ownership to a person not involved in the business can harm the business and any employees it has.
Where you own shares in a business, a court may sometimes order the sale or transfer of shares as part of a divorce settlement, but whether this is likely will depend on the circumstances.
Yes, it is always a good idea to make a new Will when getting divorced. You do not need to wait for your divorce to be finalised before doing so and, in fact, it is usually a good idea to make a new Will as soon as possible. Sadly, it is not unheard of for people to pass away during divorce proceedings and, if you do not take action, most or all of your estate could end up passing to your former spouse, even if this would not have been your intention.
Senior Associate Charlotte Woodhouse and Chartered Legal Executive Janet Paxton are both members of Resolution, the leading professional association for family lawyers with an strong emphasis on avoiding unnecessary conflict in family law.
Charlotte is also a fully qualified collaborative lawyer, meaning we can offer this highly effective form of non-confrontational dispute resolution for divorce settlements.
We hold the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced accreditation reflecting the high level of our expertise in dealing with issues including complex financial assets and international divorce.
Across the firm, we are also accredited for Conveyancing Quality and Wills & Inheritance Quality, which are both important areas of law when dealing with issues such as selling your home, buying a new home and updating your Will, that are commonly involved in divorce.
When you work with our divorce solicitors, we promise:
Glanvilles LLP is Lexcel accredited by the Law Society in recognition of the high standards of our practice management and client care. We are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
For assistance with making a financial settlement or applying for a Financial Order, please get in touch with our local offices in Chichester, Fareham or Havant or use our simple enquiry form and we will get back to you quickly.