Why you need Expert Family Law Advice when Negotiating a Divorce Settlement
By Susan Alexander, Consultant Solicitor, Family and Mediation
With the advent of online divorce, many people are trying to negotiate financial agreements between themselves to save money. Beware – this is a false economy. Any agreement reached between divorcing couples which has not been approved by the court is not binding and if you have not had legal advice, it is not worth the paper it is written on.
The awards available on divorce include; lump sums, property transfers, pension sharing, maintenance and clean break orders. There are other arrangements
which can be made, such as ordering who is to pay the mortgage, setting aside any transfers of money or property that have been done with the intention
of cheating the other spouse out of their rights.
You are likely to lose out if you don’t take specialist expert legal advice from the outset. For example, the only way to ensure a clean break is with
a court order in place upon your divorce. This will guarantee that your ex-spouse is not able to come back for a second or third bite at the cherry.
Pension sharing is not possible unless it is done as part of the financial settlement on your divorce. Sometimes it can be tempting to ignore pension
assets or not think too far ahead but this is very often one of the most valuable assets in a marriage. Pensions must be considered if any settlement
is to be fair. If the divorce is finalised before the financial settlement is sorted out, you could be prejudiced and lose rights to your spouse’s
Divorce rates are at their lowest since 1973 with the average marriage lasting 12 years. More older people are getting divorced but this probably reflects
our ageing population and the fact that these days people are marrying later in life. This also means that the couple have probably built up equity
in a house along with pension assets.
It is really important to get the right legal advice at an early stage to make sure you are protected. Believe me, it is money well spent.
If you would like any further information about our Family Law services, please contact a member of the Family Law team on 01244 356 789 or email email@example.com.
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Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.