When you separate or divorce sorting out your finances, including your home, pensions, money and savings can be time consuming and without appropriate legal advice from experienced lawyers could result in a settlement that may not be right for you.
What can you do to assist your case?
Keep financial documentation
When dealing with financial issues arising from divorce and separation you need to provide disclosure of your financial circumstances. If you therefore keep financial documentation such as, but not limited to, wage slips confirming your salary and any other benefits paid to you, bank statements, pension valuations, mortgage statements, share certificates, and business accounts, this will help us to advise you quickly and effectively. If you are a director and/or shareholder of a company, a sole trader or in partnership you will still need to produce financial documentation. At Pepperells solicitors, we assist clients from many different financial backgrounds, including those who may become involved in what could be regarded as a “big money case”. If you do not have all your financial documents available it may assist if you apply for duplicate copies but we will give you further information about this when we meet you.
It may save time and cost if you are able to produce for us evidence of your borrowing capacity at the outset of your case particularly if you wish to remain in your home or purchase another property. The more information you can give to us at an early stage the more likely it is your case will be resolved quickly.
Independent Advisers and Experts
Depending upon the circumstances of your case we may suggest you contact another expert such as a financial adviser for, say, evidence of your borrowing capacity or advice upon investments or income that could be produced from investments. It may be necessary for you to seek assistance from an accountant upon the tax implications of any proposed settlement or a pension actuary to provide an indication of how particularly complex pensions could be shared. It is not just a case of reaching agreement with your former partner or spouse as to how your money and assets should be divided but also what the potential consequences of that settlement would be.
Have realistic expectations
It is important you have realistic expectations of the potential outcome of your case from the beginning. In many cases there may be insufficient assets to enable both yourself and your former partner to maintain the standard of living you both previously enjoyed. We can advise you on what your realistic expectations should be from the outset to enable you to start negotiating a settlement that achieves a fair solution for yourself and your former partner or spouse.
Achieving an outcome
There are many ways to achieve an outcome of financial issues. We can negotiate on your behalf with your former partner or spouse’s solicitor, you can attend mediation, work out a settlement through the collaborative law process or, if necessary, proceed through the Court and the Judge can make a decision as to how your assets should be divided. At Pepperells we have some very experienced solicitors who are not only able to take you through each stage of your case but can also represent you in Court. You then have the benefit of having the same legal representative throughout the proceedings.
There may be circumstances when we would recommend a barrister or Counsel should be instructed to represent you at some Court hearings but we will provide you with further information about this as your case progresses.
Obtaining a final Order
It is one thing working out a financial settlement but to be effective that settlement may need to be approved by a Judge. A Judge can only make certain financial orders as allowed by statute. Furthermore, the Judge is not a “rubber stamp” and must be satisfied from the circumstances of the case that the Order sought is fair to both parties. If a Judge does not consider a potential Order would be fair, he or she may refuse to approve that Order. At Pepperells solicitors we can guide you through the process and assist you to achieve the outcome you seek with our extensive experience in these issues.
For expert advice on financial matters arising from your divorce and separation please contact us on 01482 326511.