“We Three Kings”: A guide to successfully resolving finances on divorce (including any gold, palaces, money, or shares…). The family law 12 days of Christmas - day 6

As we turn our calendars to December, and we can finally start getting into the Christmas spirit, our family law solicitors Alex Haworth and Gemma Nicholls-Webber share several of their favourite family law topics with a festive twist.

Over the first 12 working days of December, they'll be giving their family law version of the 12 songs of Christmas, where they'll cover a wide range of questions or issues that often arise when dealing with family law matters…

“We Three Kings”: A guide to successfully resolving finances on divorce (including any gold, palaces, money, or shares…)

You may remember that Alex covered the divorce process as part of the 12 Songs of Christmas. The divorce deals with the end of the marriage, but not the separation of a couple's finances. In fact, financial claims against each other survive the end of a marriage, albeit that they can be impacted by a new relationship or marriage.

There is no single process for reaching a financial settlement on divorce. The options are flexible and depend on the circumstances. Some clients feel most comfortable discussing the finances with their former partner directly with our advice in the background, while in other situations the factors and issues between them (as well as emotions) are so complicated that they need the certainty of a timetable set down by the court during proceedings.

For others, meditation where discussions are facilitated by an independent mediator in a series of meetings with my advice outside of the meetings works best for them. Whereas some clients find that having me summarise their financial proposals in a letter to the other person and negotiate on their behalf is what they need. 

The key step is that once an agreement is reached, it needs to be recorded in a financial consent order, which both parties sign. We send it to the court with a financial summary, so that a judge can consider and approve the settlement to make it a binding legal agreement. This is particularly important where the intention is to have no financial claims against each other in future, which is the position for most couples.

If you or anyone you know would appreciate advice on resolving finances on divorce or any of the other topics we have covered in our 12 songs of Christmas, please contact Alex Haworth or Gemma Nicholls-Webber.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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