Divorce and settling the finances
Our divorce solicitors offer expert divorce, mediation and separation advice.
The Family Team at Mayo Wynne Baxter knows that divorce and separation advice has to be clear, sympathetic and specific to your circumstances.
Our experienced and approachable divorce solicitors have unprecedented knowledge on divorce and separation rights. Your individual circumstances are important to us and the first thing we will do is listen.
If your marriage has broken down and you wish to formalise your separation, you will need to show there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. One of the five following facts will determine a breakdown of a marriage:
- Your spouse’s behaviour is such that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
- Two years separation with the consent of your spouse
- Five years separation without the consent of your spouse
Divorce is one of life’s most stressful situations to experience and our solicitors will be on your side to listen to your needs, advise you, and ensure the process is as simple and stress-free as possible.
Whilst issuing a divorce petition has been streamlined by the government and it is now possible to process an application online, nothing compares to having someone by your side to talk you through each step and ensure you are fully aware of what orders you are asking the court to make. If the correct information is not provided, you could risk not being able to bring a financial claim against your spouse, or recover your costs if the petition is defended or unreasonably delayed.
We can also advise you and represent you in respect of contested divorce proceedings, or where you are experiencing difficulties with progressing your divorce because of service problems.
We offer competitive fixed fee prices in respect of divorce applications to help you to manage your finances.
Settling the financial arrangements
Alongside the divorce process itself, you will also wish to reach a financial resolution in relation to the breakdown of your marriage. The aim of a financial settlement is to divide the marital assets and resources fairly, so that you can move forward independently, whilst being able to meet your income and housing needs for you and any children of the family. Whatever the extent of your wealth, you will need an expert to advise you on what you are entitled to and protect your interests. If a financial order is not made and approved by the court, you may leave yourself open to a claim in the future. This is particularly important if you later inherit or come into a large sum of money.
The Court take various matters into account when considering what orders should be made when dividing the marital assets. The Court considers all the circumstances of a case, gives first consideration to the welfare of any children of the family under the age of 16 and, in particular, the Court pays regard to the following matters:-
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future including, in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which would be in the opinion of the Court reasonable to expect a person to take steps to acquire.
- The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage.
- The ages of each spouse and the duration of the marriage.
- Any physical and mental disability of each spouse.
- Contributions which each spouse has made or is likely to make in the foreseeable future to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family.
- The conduct of each spouse, if that conduct is such that it would be in the opinion of the Court to be inequitable to disregard.
- The value to each spouse of any benefit which one spouse because of a divorce will lose his chance of acquiring (most usually pension provision).
There are a number of ways of reaching a financial settlement upon divorce, including Mediation, collaborative law, solicitor led negotiations, and, where it is not possible to reach an agreement by consent, an application to the Court. An application to the Court does not need to be considered a hostile approach. It is often necessary to make an application to secure a timetable for resolution. It does not mean you cannot still work towards achieving a financial settlement by agreement. Our solicitors have experience of high-net-worth individuals involving multi-million pound settlements, through to cases where the assets are limited and difficult decisions need to made to ensure the children of the family are protected. We have a range of expertise in tracking down ‘missing assets’ and making urgent applications to prevent the dissipation of assets, and we work closely with other skilled professionals to ensure you have the correct information available to you to reach a financial settlement best suited to the circumstances of your case. Our highly skilled solicitors will represent you robustly to ensure your future needs are at the forefront of negotiations, whichever process you choose.
In circumstances where you have reached an agreement on how you intend to divide your assets and you do not require the advice of our solicitors, but require assistance to draft the required Consent Order and accompanying documents to be approved by the Court, we offer competitive fixed fee prices so you can be sure your agreement is water tight and legally binding.