Reaching Financial Settlement
Reaching a financial settlement is always a cause of concern to anybody contemplating divorce proceedings. We have many years’ experience in negotiating satisfactory financial settlements for our clients. We are accustomed to dealing with clients with complex financial affairs. We have cultural awareness as to how different cultures operate in relation to dowries, wedding gifts and jewellery. Our main concern is to ensure that robust negotiations are carried out but that the proceedings are not unduly drawn out, ensuring the settlement is reached as quickly as possible. If you have children, their welfare will be a very important consideration in the financial settlement and will affect what amount you are entitled to.
The first step to a fair settlement is to ensure we have a clear and accurate picture of the assets of each partner. This process is called disclosure. Both partners must make a full and frank disclosure of their financial position before negotiations can start. Once we have all the details of the assets, and agreed their values, we can then open negotiations to reach the best settlement for our client.
Most cases are settled by negotiation between the couple and their lawyers. If the other partner is not co-operating, we can make an application to court to resolve a financial dispute so that use can be made of the court procedure. Sometimes this is necessary to force the issue of disclosure or to establish a reasonable time frame for the process.
In divorce, judicial separation or the dissolution of a civil partnership, the court has the power to make a variety of orders:
- Periodical payments (i.e. maintenance);
- The transfer of property. This is where ownership of an asset is transferred to one partner as part of the overall settlement and given to the other;
- The payment of a lump sum; or
- A pension attachment or pension sharing order. Divorce courts now have the power to divide pensions between spouses and civil partners.
The law sets out the criteria which must be taken into account when formulating financial settlements. There is no set formula for the division of assets – it is a discretionary system and depends on all the circumstances of the case.
The primary consideration of the court is the welfare of any dependent child or children. The courts must also take into account, in respect of spouses and civil partners, your income and earning capacity, your savings, your housing needs, your pensions, the duration of the marriage or civil partnership, your overall contributions, your health and any other circumstances of the case.
If you would like to discuss how the financial assets or property in your case are likely to be divided, please contact our solicitors Ayeisha Khandia, Mussarat Azmi or Keerum Akhtar on 01922 645 429.