Family Law Solicitors

Divorce Financial Settlements

In addition to getting divorced, you will also need a financial order alongside your final order of divorce, which provides certainty for both you and your ex-spouse on all financial aspects of your marriage.

This is essential so that both parties have certainty going forwards and neither can make a claim against the other’s assets or estate in the future.

We understand that sometimes obtaining a divorce financial settlement can be a daunting experience. This will entail financial disclosure of both parties, and it will entail each party being transparent and open as to what their financial position truly is. This is essential for there to be a fair financial settlement for both parties upon divorce.

We also understand that costs can often be a concern for clients, however having expert legal advice from experienced divorce financial settlement solicitors from the very outset is absolutely paramount. It can actually save costs in the long run.

Our solicitors will be able to set out what your divorce rights and your financial needs are and advice you on your options and what amounts to a fair financial settlement in divorce, given the overall factors of the marriage.

It is very important to always get expert advice from the point of separation. Some spouses even obtain advice prior to separation which is positive forward planning. You need to place yourself in a position whereby you can make an informed decision, hence the importance of seeking expert legal advice from a divorce and financial settlement solicitors from the outset.

At Laker Legal, we deal with a wide range of financial settlement matters, including, but not limited to:

  • Divorce and property;
  • Divorce and pensions;
  • Savings and investments in divorce;
  • Divorce and trusts;
  • Divorce and business assets;
  • Financial provision for children on divorce;
  • Spousal maintenance, whether interim or long term (Maintenance Pending Suit or Periodical Payments for a term or on a joint lives basis).

We act for all privately paying clients. Please note that we do not offer legal aid.

Contact our divorce settlement solicitors today

At the outset, we will speak to you over the telephone, free of charge, to discuss your situation and how we can assist you. Thereafter, we will have a video or face to face meeting with you and provide clear and transparent costs information.

Please do get in touch with one of our specialist divorce financial settlement solicitors in PrestonLancasterMaidstoneKings HillBath, York and other locations across the UK today by filling in our contact form, emailing us at info@lakerlegal.co.uk, or by calling us directly.

Our divorce settlement services

Divorce and property

All property should be taken account of for both parties when divorcing.

The matrimonial home is the main home whereby you have lived together as spouses. It is known as “the core asset of the marriage” and the starting point for dividing the same is in equal shares, usually regardless of contribution.

It is important that a valuation of the matrimonial home is agreed prior to settlement. The home may be sold or it may be transferred to one of the spouses.

If you have other properties, it may be these properties are either matrimonial or non-matrimonial. Our expert financial settlement solicitors will advise you of this when you contact us to discuss your matter.

Divorce and pensions

When divorcing it is paramount to take account of all assets each spouse owns, including pensions. Whether you have a private pension, an occupational pension or a government pension of some kind, all pensions must be disclosed, no matter where they are held worldwide.

Pensions can either be shared by a pension sharing order or a pensions attachment order or the interest in the pension offset.

If the pension(s) of the parties are extensive, or if there is a mix of pension types, it may be appropriate to instruct a pension actuary. Pension actuaries can consider issues such as how the pension has accrued during the relationship and non-relationship period.

Pension actuaries can also advise on what any offset figures should be, for example if you or your spouse wished to offset their entitlement to a pension sharing order by receiving a cash lump sum payment instead, or a property, or part of a property.

At Laker Legal, we are experienced in dealing with all kinds of pensions and pension sharing orders from ones that are valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds to pensions that are valued in excess of millions of pounds.

Pensions are particularly important to consider for spouses approaching retirement in the not too distant future. 

Savings and investments in divorce

Prior to any financial settlement in divorce being reached, it is crucial that each party has disclosed whatever savings, stocks, shares or investments they have.

Quite simply, these can either be retained in whose ever name they are in, they can be transferred to the other spouse, or they can be sold upon divorce.

Our divorce settlement solicitors will advise you on the specific details of all options. Ultimately, these assets have to be looked at not in isolation but as part of the overall financial picture of the parties. Only then can a fair agreement be reached on what should happen to either parties’ respective savings or investments on divorce.

Divorce and trusts

If either you or your Spouse happen to have an interest in a trust, this is usually called a “beneficial interest”. Trust interests needs to be disclosed during the financial disclosure process of financial divorce settlements.

Trusts are not automatically excluded from financial disclosure, and some key questions need to be considered, such as:

  • Is the trust a sham trust?
  • Is the trust a financial resource?
  • Is the trust a nuptial trust?

Whether a trust is a sham trust or not depends on whether it was set up to deny someone their entitlement to it forming part of the division of assets. A simple example may be some monies passing from one family member to another (held on trust) pending the outcome of the divorce and financial settlement. This would be deliberate to evade the financial disclosure process, which would then lead to inherent unfairness as a material asset is missing from the financial picture on divorce.

Whether a trust is a financial resource or not depends on issues such as:

  • Whether the trust is fixed, and therefore whether the beneficiaries’ interest in the trust is clear and defined and a value can be placed upon it;
  • When and how you may be permitted (under the trust instrument) to access or receive funds from the trust, and at whose say so and under what conditions;
  • Whether you receive income from the trust and if so, what amount and over what period;
  • Whether the trust a discretionary trust or not.

A nuptial trust is a trust which has a direct connection to the marriage. For example, if the trust was set up in contemplation or preparation of the marriage then it would qualify as a nuptial trust meaning it forms part of the financial picture.

The focus needs to be on the identities of the settlor, the beneficiaries, the timing of the creation of the trust and whether there is an expressed letter of wishes as to the intention of the trust(s).

The court have wide powers in connection to trusts and they have the power to transfer monies from the trust in any financial settlement, change the beneficiaries, or change the trustees and even appoint new beneficiaries.

Divorce and business assets

If you and your spouse are a partnership business or directors and shareholders in a company, this can add further strain and stress to an already difficult position.

If you are a partnership, sometimes there is a written partnership agreement and it would be necessary to look at this document to see what the provisions of dissolution or buying the other out of the partnership are.

If there is no such agreement, which there often isn’t when the partners are also spouses, then the Partnership Act of 1890 applies.

If the company is a limited company then there will be directors and shareholders. It is important to consider the makeup of the company and the articles of association to ascertain the structure, process and procedure, which must be followed when dealing with the company generally.

Financial provision for children

Children are at the forefront of the family court’s mind when dealing with financial settlements in divorce. It is important that the children have suitable housing, with both parents, and their needs are met.

Child maintenance may be payable and if you cannot agree what the rate of such maintenance should be, or indeed the frequency and regularity of those payments, then we shall provide you with advice. It may be that an application to the Child Maintenance Service is required.

Spousal maintenance

There are two species of spousal maintenance, interim spousal maintenance termed “maintenance pending suit” and long term periodical payments.

When the courts are asked to consider whether maintenance should be paid, they look at the receiver’s need, and the payer’s ability to pay.

Generally, there should be a disparity between the respective parties’ earning capacities for maintenance to be due. The two most common scenarios when maintenance is due, presuming the payer can afford it, are:

  • When the primary carer of the children is restricted from working either at all or full time.
  • When the parties divorce later in life and the other party cannot increase their respective earning capacity.

Our expert divorce and financial settlement solicitors will advise you at the outset whether spousal maintenance is an issue or feature in your case or not.

Divorce law FAQs

What is a divorce settlement?

A divorce settlement generally means the financial settlement arising out of the divorce, as discussed above.

How is a divorce settlement calculated?

The most important part of any financial divorce settlement is to ensure there is full and frank financial disclosure before any agreement or interim agreement is reached.

What are you entitled to after a divorce?

This entirely depends upon the length of the marriage, the financial resources of the parties, and the Section 25 factors.

How long do divorce financial settlements take?

This depends on whether the parties are amicable and cooperative with one another, or whether matters become more contentious.

Generally, we find that divorce and financial settlements take at least 1 year from start to finish, but in more complicated matters this could be up to 2 years. There are some cases which are very complex and can take longer.

Contact our friendly, professional divorce settlement solicitors

If you would like an appointment with one of our specialist financial settlement solicitors in PrestonLancasterMaidstoneKings HillBath, York and other locations across the UK today, get in touch by filling in our contact form, emailing us at info@lakerlegal.co.uk, or by calling us directly.

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What our clients say...

Best conveyancing experience ever. After two supposedly good law firms failed to even do the basics post instruction, for nearly 8 weeks, Jess at Laker Legal took on the difficult challenge of overseeing my purchase and completion in record time. Always proactive, very knowledgeable of her subject and extremely good communicator. I never had to chase the firm for anything. They always answered my calls efficiently. I can't praise them enough. What a wonderful experience.

I recommend Jess and would be very happy to use her again in the future.

Mrs A, Lancaster.

Thank you so much Richard, you have been so kind and patient with me when I have been at about the lowest point of my life after losing my wife, I can never thank you enough. I will also let my family know my wishes that Laker Legal Solicitors deal with my estate when that time comes.

Mr Y, Addington, Kent.

I am very pleased with Laker Legal firm, my Solicitor John Hirst, was extremely helpful throughout the drawing of my prenuptial agreement. A very professional and knowledgeable approach yet warm,and friendly enough to feel comfortable with in a situation that can be quite uncanny to discuss or uneasy as per say. Thankyou again!

Mrs V – London

Thank you for all your help and support over the last 12 months. You and the team at Laker Legal have been fantastic.
Sarah was lovely and really supportive yesterday.

Ms. W of Leyland

I used the services of Jess and the team at Laker Legal as a first time buyer looking for properties to buy, near and around Bath.

Jess was fantastic, in her communication during the process as well as her knowledge and ability during the conveyancing process. She helped me make informed decisions and ultimately find and purchase a wonderful home near Bath. Jess is adept at spotting potential issues during a purchase that I believe others may not.

She clearly excels at her craft and you will be in safe hands should you use her services too.

Bath.

Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

Mr T, Lancaster

A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

Mrs R – West Malling, Kent

A devastating event brought us to call on Laker Legal. We were put in touch with Mr John Hirst, and from the first moment we spoke to him we knew everything was going to be ok. Mr John Hirst, was always on the end of the Phone or Email, Kept in touch with us 100% of the time, and the support we received took so much pain off our family. All i can say is Thank you so much for everything you did for us.

Ms P - Maidstone

I can highly recommend John Hirst at Laker Legal solicitors in Lancaster. He was superb from start to finish dealing with a very complex child arrangements case for me. A really decent guy and an excellent family law solicitor who genuinely cares about his clients. John was fully up to speed with my case at all times and we got the outcome we wanted.

Mr B, Kendal

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