The Perils of No Financial Agreement – Getting it right first time

9 June 2021
Brenda Spain, Consultant Solicitor

Many separated or even divorced people do not realise they may be at risk of financial claims being made against them by their ex, even years after separation

When separating or divorcing it is crucial that your financial affairs are resolved properly at the time of the separation. Not to do so can leave you vulnerable to future financial claims.

As Family Lawyers we often hear:
We dealt with it ourselves
If so, how? Is it legally binding?

We didn’t have anything to protect
Is that still the case?

We have got a Decree Absolute, we are divorced
The Decree Absolute ends your marriage but not the financial links between you both. 

There have been many cases where the Courts have made financial awards long after parties have separated because no final and binding agreement was put in place. While the Courts have regard to post separation wealth, income etc, if the needs of your former partner have changed through loss of employment or ill health, those needs may have to be taken into account. The Courts will look at the assets as they are at the current time, so as an example, if you have grown a successful business since your separation or divorce, your ex may be able to make financial claims against it, a claim which may even result in you needing to sell the business.

Due to the passage of time, these disputes can be more costly to resolve, and having your financial affairs open to examination can result in cases being very emotionally charged.

What is the solution? 
The solution is to have a Court approved, final and binding, financial settlement agreement between you both.

What is the solution? 
We recently represented a client who at the time of his separation had transferred the house to his ex-wife along with their joint savings and provided ongoing financial support for their children.

A number of years later he decided to start a new life abroad. At this point he found his assets had been frozen, his ex-wife had fallen into ill health and had lodged a series of financial applications with the Court.

Had he ensured there was a legally binding finance agreement in place he would have avoided twelve months of litigation and the associated costs.

If you a facing divorce or separation and would like a free initial consultation with a member of our expert Family Law team, please contact us on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

Eluned Roberts

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