Financial settlement

When it comes to finances on divorce, it can be difficult to know where to start. You will naturally have questions about what divorce means for you and your family.

Your questions will range from the everyday like “who will pay the bills?” and “what about the car?”, to the more complex and long term like “what happens to my pension?”. Our family team have extensive experience in dealing with financial matters and guiding clients through the process of financial settlement.

We pride ourselves on listening to you and understanding your priorities in financial settlement. We will work with you to help you understand your legal position and the options available to you. We appreciate that each client and family are different which is why we work closely with a network of other professionals, including financial advisors and business experts, to provide a tailored service to secure your financial future.

Dealing with finances is the most complicated and stressful aspect of any divorce. It can be difficult to contemplate how family finances can be disentangled from one another and reordered to provide for two households, rather than one. It is important to appreciate and understand what assets there are in the ‘matrimonial pot’ and how the Court may treat these assets. There may be complicating features such as business interests, trust assets, investments, and foreign assets. 

The Family Court has a lot of discretion on what is considered a ‘fair’ financial settlement. It will consider a range of factors when determining fairness including the age of the parties, earning capacity, dependent children, and length of the marriage.

Our role as family lawyers is to guide you through:

  • The potential assets in your case
  • The legal position of these assets and how the court may treat them
  • The options available to you in reaching a settlement
  • Other professionals who may assist you
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Our lawyers

Our family team are particularly skilled in dealing with high value and complex financial remedy cases. We pride ourselves on taking the complex and making it understandable for our clients. 

We have experience in dealing with financial matters that involve:

  • Jurisdictional issues and foreign assets
  • Multi-million-pound businesses
  • Complicated pension arrangements including dealing with defined benefit schemes and foreign pensions
  • Trust assets
  • Lack of disclosure by a party
  • Disposal of assets prior to and during proceedings
  • Criminal investigations

What you need to know

Divorce is the procedural and legal process of dissolving the marriage; it does not of itself resolve financial matters between you and your partner. You and your partner will have to reach an agreement on how the matrimonial finances should be divided. If you cannot reach an agreement, then either of you can apply for the court to make a decision instead.

When reaching an agreement with your partner, it is important for both of you to fully understand the other’s financial position so that you can come to a settlement without any missing information. This is a process called full and frank disclosure. Sometimes parties are unwilling to provide information about their position and a specialist family lawyer will be able to provide you with options for dealing with this. Once there has been disclosure, the parties can enter into negotiations to reach a settlement. Depending on the case, it may be necessary to instruct experts to help the parties reach an agreement. For example, it may be helpful for an expert to value a property or business, or to give their views on the treatment of pensions. If an agreement is reached then a specialist family lawyer should be used to make the agreement legally binding. If this is not done, then you and your partner could make another claim against each other in future.

We strive to resolve family matters as amicably and constructively as possible, particularly when there are children involved. But this does not stop us from acting robustly to protect our client’s best interests. If it is necessary to enter court proceedings, we will advise you of this and champion your position.

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Vlogs from our divorce law solicitors

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In this vlog, the latest in the Stages of Divorce series, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger and partner in the Mills&Reeve family and children team, provides an overview of things to think about if you are getting divorced and have an interest in a business from shares in a PLC, to a sole trader, partnership or the wide range of different types of private limited companies.
In this vlog, the latest in the Stages of Divorce series, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger and partner in the Mills & Reeve family and children team, considers various circumstances in which tax may be need to be factored in to the financial disclosure in Form E or otherwise on divorce. What about tax on a sale or transfer of the family home? or of other properties? and tax on ISAs or other investment portfolios or other business interests?
In this vlog, the latest in the Stages of Divorce series, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger and partner in the Mills & Reeve family and children team, considers what information needs to be provided about a house or other residential property in a divorce, and also how best to go about valuing such property.
In this latest vlog in the Stages of Divorce series, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger and partner in the Mills&Reeve family and children team explains the purpose of the Form E, the court financial disclosure form, including the circumstances in which it is used, the best way to approach filling it in and the areas that need particular attention.
In this latest in the Stages of Divorce series, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger provides an overview on how to go about thinking about finances on divorce, whatever the process. She considers the 3 main steps required and the importance of each so What are the financial resources? What are they worth? and then What are we doing to do with our finances?

Frequently Asked Questions

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Blog: Pension poverty is a real risk after divorce

A recent report by insurance company Aviva has shone a light on how pensions are seen and treated on divorce. Their findings highlight how important it is for divorcing couples to...


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  • What is a MIAM? 
    MIAM stands for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. It is a first meeting with a specially qualified family mediator to consider whether your issues can be resolved without going to court. The mediator will provide you with information about the options available for non-court resolution, including...

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