Dividing Money and Property When a Relationship Ends
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When your relationship breaks down irrevocably, you need to decide what is going to happen with your money and property. You and your ex-partner can choose what you want to do in most circumstances, however, different rules apply if the relationship was abusive, or social services are involved. There are numerous steps that you can take to settle how your assets are split. Here we have a look at your options and the processes involved.
Forming an agreement with your ex-partner
Should you and your ex-partner be able to decide on your own what happens, it makes sense to get a financial agreement in place, drafted by a solicitor. A solicitor will make your agreement legally binding. If you don’t take this step a court will not be able to enforce it.
A solicitor will draft a consent order and ask the court to approve it for you; this is the process that makes it a legal document. The agreement will detail exactly how money and property are to be divided. Savings, investments, and child maintenance details may also be included. If you go down this route, there is usually no court proceedings that you will need to attend.
Call us if you have come to an agreement and need our assistance making it legally binding. Our Family Team can be reached on 01282 433 241.
If you can’t agree on your own, the next option available to you is mediation.
A mediator is an impartial voice that can help you and your ex-partner come to an agreement. Mediation is not counselling, their goal is to help foster an agreement, and to ensure that mediation is the correct course of action for you. Regardless of whether mediation works for you or not, you will still require legal advice after the process. If it helps you come to an agreement, you will require a consent order as detailed above.
Should mediation not result in an agreement, we can outline further options available to you. We will work with you to get a resolution, out of court if possible. In some cases though, proceeding to court is the most suitable course of action. We can advise based on your unique circumstances.
If it is not possible or appropriate to come to an agreement out of court, for example in an abusive relationship, you will need to apply for a ‘financial order’ from the court. If you want to take this route, you will usually need to have attended a mediation meeting first.
You can apply to the court once divorce proceedings are underway, before the decree absolute is issued, and the divorce finalised. Or, in the case of a civil partnership, the final order.
As stated, it is prudent for you to get legal advice regardless of your circumstances and how you choose to proceed. This is especially important should your case need the intervention of the court, as the processes and the paperwork get increasingly complex.
Contact our Family Team on 01282 433 241 to discuss your circumstances.