Financial Matters banner

Family Law Services

Home / Family Law Services / Financial Matters

Financial Matters & Divorce

At Goodsells Family Law, we are specialists in Divorce and Cohabitation with many years’ experience advising clients on financial matters when their relationships break down.

We understand the challenges that reaching an agreement on financial issues can present. This can often lead to high levels of stress for all parties, particularly if children are involved. When you instruct us, you can be sure we will work tirelessly on your behalf to achieve a fair settlement.

You will be working with Donna Goodsell, a highly skilled divorce solicitor with over 20 years’ experience providing divorce advice for a wide range of circumstances. Donna ensures the highest quality of service for every client, with specific expertise in advising professionals and High Net Worth individuals.

Read more about Donna Goodsell’s family law expertise.

If you are keen to ensure you get the best possible division of finances for your future, we will be very happy to help.

For an initial consultation with our divorce and finances solicitor in London, please call 020 7622 2221, email enquiries@goodsellssolicitors.co.uk or complete our online enquiry form to request a call back.

Specialist divorce financial advice for clients across London

Our divorce and finances solicitor can assist with issues including what happens to:

  • The family home
  • Pensions
  • Savings
  • Investments
  • Inheritances
  • Second homes, holiday homes and investment properties
  • Business assets

Divorce financial settlements

You do not need to go to court to achieve a financial settlement as part of the divorce proceedings – many couples reach an agreement through solicitor negotiation, mediation, collaboration or arbitration.

At Goodsells Family Law, our divorce financial settlement solicitors will work to ensure that a workable agreement is reached quickly, avoiding stressful and time-consuming court action wherever possible.

It is important to know that, even if financial matters can be settled out of court, other issues such as child residence and contact will also need to be addressed. If this cannot be achieved amicably, court proceedings may still be necessary.

Financial Orders

Unfortunately, an amicable financial settlement is not always possible. In those rare cases where a voluntary agreement cannot be reached, we can support you with applying to a family court for a Financial Order. This means the court will decide how your assets will be divided, ensuring that this meets each spouse’s reasonable needs and – crucially – those of any children.

Division of finances for unmarried couples

If you and your ex-partner were not married but had been living together, there is no formal process that you must follow when separating. However, you may need professional advice and support if you and your partner are struggling to agree on crucial issues.

A mediator or solicitor can help you to reach a consensus and work through any sticking points, such as a disagreement over who is responsible for any debt owed and who is entitled to your shared home or money in your joint account.

At Goodsells Family Law, we put you and your family’s interests first. For most people, this means achieving a fair, quick and effective agreement without the need to go to court. However, if your circumstances are particularly difficult, for example, if your ex-partner is not willing to negotiate, we may recommend making a court claim. In this case, we will provide a clear and strong strategy to achieve the best outcome.

More and more cohabiting couples are entering into Cohabitation Agreements. These put into writing your shared wishes on what should happen to your assets and finances if you separate. These provide clarity and certainty for the future and can help you to avoid costly legal proceedings. We can help you draft a formal agreement or provide advice on whether an agreement drafted by your partner’s solicitor is fair.

Excellent value for money

Our rates are highly competitive. For straightforward divorces, we offer a fixed-fee service. We will always be completely open and honest when it comes to the cost of instructing us. From the outset, we will discuss our fee structure and ensure you are happy to proceed.

Contact our divorce and finances solicitor in Clapham, London

Whether your financial situation is straightforward or much more complicated, Goodsells Family Law is here to help.

For an initial consultation with our divorce solicitor in London, please call 020 7622 2221, email enquiries@goodsellssolicitors.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.

Divorce finances FAQs

How are assets divided in divorce?

Deciding how assets should be divided when a couple divorce is often complicated. Both parties are required to provide full disclosure of their finances, including savings, investments, pensions and properties that they own or have an interest in. Outstanding debts will also have to be disclosed by the spouses.

Financial disclosure is followed by a period of negotiation. It is important to remember that there are no set rules to determine what a financial settlement should look like and that each party's unique and specific circumstances will be taken into consideration.

The Family Law Courts in England now take an approach that may prioritise a party’s “needs” rather than their “reasonable requirements”, as was previously the case. When deciding what will constitute a fair settlement, consideration will be given to factors such as the following:

  • Your and your spouse’s assets and finances
  • Your and your spouse’s current and future needs
  • Your respective earnings and earning capacity
  • Any foreseeable change in your respective financial circumstances
  • Any children you have, their ages and needs
  • Your age and that of your spouse
  • Your and your spouse’s health and any impact this may have on your ability to earn in the future
  • The length of the marriage and, possibly, the time you lived together before marriage

How is a house divided in divorce?

The family home can be a serious point of contention in divorce proceedings. Where there are children, it is normal to want to make sure they can keep living in the family home to avoid further disruption to their lives, but this may not always be possible.

Some potential options for dealing with the family home include:

  • The home is sold, and the proceeds are split between the separating spouses (not necessarily evenly)
  • One spouse keeps the home, and the other takes a bigger share of other assets
  • One spouse keeps the home and buys out the other
  • The sale of the house is deferred until a certain future point, e.g. when children turn 18 (this can be done with a court order such as a Mesher Order)

Which of these options may be right for you will depend on your circumstances, so it is important to get specialist divorce finance advice as soon as possible.

How are pensions split in a divorce?

After the family home, pensions are often the most valuable asset that must be considered when getting divorced. They are usually essential to your future financial wellbeing, so they should not be overlooked.

There are two commonly used options for dealing with pensions in divorce:

  • Pensions sharing – where a percentage of a pension pot is placed into a separate pension scheme for the benefit of the other spouse
  • Pension offsetting – where the value of one spouse’s pension is offset by giving the other spouse a bigger share of other marital assets, e.g. the family home

There is also another rarely used option called ‘pension earmarking’. This involves agreeing that a certain percentage of the pension will be given to the other spouse on a regular basis once the pension starts being drawn. This is not usually an attractive option as it keeps the two ex-spouses tied together long term.

How long does it take to get a divorce financial settlement?

This will entirely depend on the situation, but generally, it will be much faster if you can negotiate a settlement than if court proceedings are required.

Negotiated settlements can usually be achieved within a matter of months, while it may potentially take years to secure a court-ordered settlement.

How long after a divorce can you claim assets in the UK?

There is no time limit beyond which someone can no longer make a claim against the assets of a former spouse. It is therefore vitally important that any divorce settlement you make includes a ‘Clean Break Order’ as this prevents any future financial claims by either party against the other. Without a Clean Break Order, there is nothing to stop future financial claims by either spouse.

What is a Financial Order in divorce?

A Financial Order, sometimes called a ‘Divorce Financial Order’, is a type of court order which specifies how a divorcing couple’s shared assets should be split between them. They are rarely needed these days as most couples agree on a voluntary settlement instead.

If you do apply for a Financial Order, the court will decide how your assets must be split, looking at factors including what assets there are, what needs each person and any children have, and how long the marriage lasted.

The terms of the Financial Order will be legally binding on both parties.

Contact our divorce solicitor in Clapham, London

For an initial consultation with our divorce financial solicitor in London, please call 020 7622 2221, email enquiries@goodsellssolicitors.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.