There are many urban legal myths that solicitors, like ourselves, do our best to quell, but in an era where there is much talk of ‘fake news,’ we need to try to put the record straight wherever possible.
One such myth is that when divorcing, the Decree Absolute (the final decree dissolving the marriage) also ends all financial connection with an ex-spouse.
This is not necessarily always the case. Reaching financial settlements during divorce proceedings is no easy task and one where parting couples understandably look for advice.
The process begins when the financial application starts with both parties completing a detailed financial statement, which is known as Form E.
In an era where many look on Google, feeling empowered to take on certain tasks – this is one area that we really would recommend specialist legal advice is sought when considering what might happen if things go wrong.
It’s worth adding that in most cases, the financial issues will be considered alongside divorce proceedings, and all being well, settled by agreement resulting in an order made by consent.
Further, if a property, particularly your home, is held in one party’s name, it is wise to seek professional advice to protect your interest.
The court will assess the financial provisions including the financial needs of the parties, especially the children, as well as the length of the relationship and marriage.
The housing requirements, financial fairness to both parties, the capacity of the parties, age and health are all taken into consideration.
If you are unable to resolve the financial issues yourself, then the court will expect you to try and resolve differences using a mediator who can assist you to try and find a resolution.
If mediation is not successful the court’s process can be invoked where all the relevant factors of the relationship are taken into account, with the key consideration being given to the welfare of any minor children.
Consideration is given to matters such as the value of all property, wherever it may be and all savings, income, pensions, etc.
Only following full and frank disclosure, decisions can be made as to the appropriate division of assets.
In summary, divorce itself does not end financial claims only a final financial order provides a clean break.