Quite often, for many people whose marriage has broken down, there is a tendancy to delay formally sorting out the finances even though they may have physically separated. This can be for a variety of reasons such as uncertainty as to the value of the house, job security, lack of affordable mortgages or not being able to afford legal fees. Delays in formal separation are especially common during a recession.
What may not be appreciated, though, is that when people divorce, the court will not just take into account the circumstances that exist at the time of separation, but also at the time of the divorce proceedings. This means that if circumstances have changed – such as better paid employment, new assets acquired, or indeed loss of employment for a spouse, the court has a duty to take into account the financial and other circumstances that exist at the time of the divorce.
The reality of this is that the higher earner could find themselves paying more maintenance than expected (or maintenance where it was not expected), more capital from savings, more of the value of the house and even more pension. This could be the case even where you had agreed amicably, but informally, what the settlement would be.
For those going through a separation, we would recommend that it’s better to be safe than sorry and ensure that any agreement is submitted to and approved by the court as soon as practicable. This is not an expensive process and can be done without any animosity and without a court hearing.
SAS Daniels offer fixed fees for dealing with divorce, agreed financial settlements, separation agreements and even contested financial proceedings, which can help you budget better and prepare for the future.
For more infomation contact a member of our Family team on 01625 442100.