Division of Assets
If you are getting divorced, you will want to make sure that there is a fair division of assets in your divorce settlement, which may include your house, pensions, savings and any other capital assets you and your ex-partner have.
What is a divorce settlement?
A divorce settlement is an agreement between you and your ex-partner about how your financial assets will be divided between you on your divorce. It is important to remember that any agreement is not legally binding until it is approved by the court, known as a consent order, which will require limited disclosure of each parties’ finances.
What is a fair division of assets?
A financial agreement does not have to be equal but must be considered fair. The court will consider many factors when looking at financial orders, which vary with every case depending on individual circumstances. The parties’ needs are an important factor when considering how the marital assets should be divided. This can include considering where any children of the marriage are living, establishing the income and housing needs of each party, how long the relationship was, whether each party is able to work, and establishing whether there are any medical conditions to consider. These are all matters that may impact the divorce settlement.
A solicitor will not advise you specifically on what you could be entitled to, or what might be considered a fair division of assets in your circumstances, without seeing financial disclosure from both parties. Financial disclosure would normally include submission of 12 months’ worth of bank statements, employment or income evidence, pension values, property valuations, vehicle valuations and any other financial evidence that may be relevant. Whilst it might feel somewhat daunting to provide financial disclosure, a lawyer cannot advise on how appropriate or fair an agreement is without being able to see the evidence.
Do I need to use a lawyer to get a divorce settlement?
Whilst it is possible for couples to sort out questions about the division of assets between themselves, it may not be the most sensible route for either party. It is important that both you and your ex partner fully understand your rights before making any commitments, and it is essential that the financial agreement is legally valid to ensure there are no future claims on the assets.
What am I entitled to if we were not married?
If you have been living together but are not married or in a civil partnership, you will not have the same rights and the division of assets may need to be dealt with under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TOLATA).
Contact us to discuss your case with a member of our separation and divorce team.
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