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Family Matters - RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN AND FINANCES       01223 415372

Financial Settlements

When a relationship breaks down there are often financial matters which need to be discussed including what should happen to any property and what are you entitled to. When discussing the finances it is important to ensure that you have both disclosed your financial assets and circumstances to each other so that you know what assets are to be divided. This is important even if you have reached an agreement already as you will then be able to tell whether it is fair. The type of information required is as follows:

  1.  copy pay slips for the past six months including your latest P60 for the last three tax returns.

  2.  copy bank statements and building society passbooks for the past 12 months in respect of each and every account held by you, whether in your sole name or jointly with any other person to including savings and investment accounts.

  3.  a complete schedule of your outgoings.

  4.  up to date transfer values of your pension policies (if any)

  5.  full details of all other income, assets, capital and investments held by you whether solely or jointly with any other person and documentary evidence in support for example, stocks, shares, share schemes or the like

  6.  an up to redemption statement and valuation for the home if you own it, and any other properties you own, either solely or with other people.

This list is just an example an is not exhaustive.

Once disclosure has taken place, and if you havenít reached an agreement, then we can try and negotiate an appropriate settlement for you. If you are a married couple or in a civil partnership then you are automatically entitled to make a financial claim against one another including claims against pension. When splitting assets there is a basic presumption that you start with a 50/50 split which increases or decreases in your favour depending on individual circumstances. There are a number of factors taken into account when determining what either party is entitled to. They are as follows:

  1.  the income and capital needs of you both

  2.  the homing needs of any minor children

  3.  the standard of living of you both prior to the breakdown of the marriage/partnership

  4.  your ages and the duration of the marriage/partnership

  5.  any disabilities that either of you may have

  6.  contributions to the marriage/partnership including domestic contributions as well as financial contributions

  7.  potential financial loss as a result of the divorce/dissolution e.g. pension rights

  8.  behaviour, when it is unfair to ignore it

Once an agreement has been reached it is advisable to enter in to a Consent Order which records what has been agreed and is signed by a Judge to make it legally binding. If you cannot reach an agreement then a Court application can be made which will set out a timescale and encourage negotiation and settlement. If, on the rare occasion, you cannot reach a settlement then a Judge will make an Order as to what should happen with the finances.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership then different rules will apply and please call Bridget to discuss your possible options.

Pensions

If you are married or in a civil partnership you are entitled to make a claim against your spouse or civil partnerís pension. A lot will depend on your individual circumstances as to whether you would wish to claim against your spouse or civil partnerís pension. You can also offset the value of a pension against other matrimonial assets, for example, the matrimonial home. For practical purposes this means that you may receive an increased share of the equity in the home or a lump sum payment rather than a pension share.

There is no hard and fast rule when negotiating a settlement and a lot will depend on your individual circumstances. If you would like to discuss matters with Bridget Giltinane then please call her for a free confidential chat or to book an initial free appointment on 01223 415372 or email her on bridget.giltinane@smslaw.co.uk.


If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or bridget.giltinane@smslaw.co.uk for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.

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