Financial Settlements in divorce

This is a complex area of law in which Ursula Bagnall provides specialist advice. The division of assets remains discretionary, and is decided according to certain statutory criteria which has to be applied in every case but whose interpretation has been varied by three decades of case law. Recent cases have established a 50:50 starting point in all except very short marriages.

In every case the interests of the children are paramount and it follows that the needs of the caring spouse must be established and satisfied as far as possible. This can only be done if there has been full and frank disclosure on the part of both parties, which is a pre-requisite of the Court process.

Ursula advises anyone who is attempting to achieve a financial/property settlement following the breakdown of their relationship to consult a specialist Solicitor, in order to understand their rights and options. Provided each party is prepared to disclose his financial arrangements, a settlement may be achieved quickly through Solicitors. A ‘round the table meeting’ is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution which is often productive. Even where parties have achieved a ‘memorandum of understanding’ at Mediation, they should each consult a Solicitor for independent advice before the terms are implemented.

In cases where neither mediation nor negotiation through solicitors has been productive, then an Application to the Court for a Financial Order will be the speediest way to resolve financial issues provided the Court timetable is adhered to. The parties’ will also have the benefit of input from the District Judge as to the terms of an appropriate settlement.

-Sensitive Approach
-Forward thinking
-Years of experience
-Value for money