How to divide money and assets in a divorce

The breakdown of a relationship can often bring about disagreements surrounding finances.

An experienced family law solicitor can help you deal with financial issues sensibly so both parties reach a fair solution.

Financial settlement negotiations begin with both parties declaring all their assets to each other.

These may include:

  • Property
  • Savings
  • Pensions
  • Vehicles
  • Bank accounts
  • Shares, bonds or mutual funds
  • Precious metals
  • Furniture and art
  • Business interests

Although the majority of people do reveal the full extent of their financial situation to their spouse, it is not always the case. However, hiding assets during a divorce goes against the principles of the process, and the consequences can be serious.

Coming to an agreement over financial affairs is one of the major steps in a divorce, separation or dissolution of a civil partnership, and is often a highly emotive and complex set of discussions.

Our approachable and experienced team will help you understand the issues at hand, and support you throughout the negotiations, providing the guidance and reassurance you need to reach a successful conclusion.

Resolving money issues in out of court divorces and separations is done through a financial settlement agreement.

The objective of the financial settlement is to ensure that the reasonable needs of both parties are met, as are those of any children involved.

One of the better ways to reach an agreement is through out of court negotiation with the aid of a mediator, and the divorce lawyers at Lupton Fawcett are skilled in this collaborative process helping clients resolve money issues in divorce in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Where this is not possible, it will be down to the courts to make the decisions for you.

If you need assistance with financial disputes in divorce or separation, or would like information on what your rights are, contact us today on 0333 323 5292, or fill in the enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you shortly.

Financial issues on divorce

Going through a break-up is never easy and getting to grips with your finances at the same time can add enormous stress to the situation.  You’ll need to think about your position concerning all the marital assets and how they should be divided them up fairly.  It is a common misconception that matrimonial assets will be split 50/50 on divorce; however, this is generally only a starting point.  Many factors will be considered while seeking a way to divide assets in a way that is fair and equal.

Agreed financial settlements

The financial remedy consent order is a separate process to the divorce itself.  It is the document that sets out all the agreed decisions you have made with regards to any property, investments, savings and pensions that you have.

Property on divorce

The family home is often the largest asset involved in any divorce or separation settlement.

It can be a major cause of stress as it has an impact on so many other areas of life.  It is vital that you seek legal advice to ensure that you fully understand your rights and the choices available to you.

You will have to make decisions on whether to sell or keep the property and how the benefits of those decisions will be shared fairly.  If there are children involved, their needs and those of the primary carer, are at the centre of all decisions surrounding the family home.

Pensions on divorce

Pensions are often a significant part of the financial settlement negotiations, but this comes as a surprise to many divorcing couples.  Dividing a pension fund can be confusing, but we’ll help you answer questions about the current and future value of the money in a pension, and help you negotiate appropriate terms accordingly.

Companies on divorce

Couples involved in running a business together will need to make arrangements following separation or divorce.

The primary issue is usually to try and agree on a valuation of the business.  This is necessary so that it can be factored into the equation when re-distributing the family finances on divorce.

Negotiations will also need to take place with regards to how the company will be run in the future.

We have a great deal of experience dealing with these situations, and we will support you through each step of the process.

Unethical behaviour

During the financial settlement process, both you and your partner will continue to have living expenses and may need access to jointly held funds or accounts.

Occasionally, situations arise when one party acts unethically by withdrawing unusually large sums, changing locks, attempting to sell assets, or by running up new debts in your joint names.

Contact us immediately if you are concerned about this possibility and we will help you take preventative steps.

Post-divorce financial claims

Many people do not realise that although their legal marriage contract has ended, they are still connected financially.  Without the correct legal advice, former spouses may be entitled to make a claim on the other’s finances at any point in the future.

This can create uncertainty and you may be concerned about how secure your earnings, savings or pension may be, even years after your separation or divorce.

Contact us

At Lupton Fawcett our family solicitors have helped many couples resolve their money issues in a divorce or separation.  We understand how difficult the process can be and we always work hard to reach a satisfactory conclusion as swiftly as possible.

If you need some assistance or would like information on what your rights are, contact us today by calling the number at the top of this page, or fill in the enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you shortly.

Lupton Fawcett is a leading full-service law firm in Yorkshire with well-established offices of highly experienced family law solicitors in Leeds, Sheffield and York.

We provide a personalised service, with sector specialists and extensive resources to ensure we are giving you the best solutions to your problems.

Our divorce lawyers act regularly for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York and Nottingham.

We can support your needs wherever you live in England and Wales.

I instructed Chris Burns to advise me in relation to various financial issues which arose following the breakdown of my marriage. My case involved a dispute with my former husband over the ownership and occupation of a significant property with adjacent land. Chris steered me through the process of resolving this. Despite resistance from my former husband, Chris advised me with a determined focus and provided me with clear and pragmatic advice throughout the process and achieved my objective within the proceedings.


Why Choose Lupton Fawcett?

Having advised and supported many local families, individuals and businesses, we are proud to offer clients a dedicated service from specialist solicitors who are experts in their field:

We're Award Winning

Multi-award winning - Yorkshire Team of the Year, Regional Employment Team of the Year, Employment Law Lawyer of the Year

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We're connected to the people, businesses and infrastructure throughout Yorkshire

We Put You First

You can be sure to expect superb client service from us. Our clients are our priority

We're Your Law Firm

Your problems are real but how we approach them makes all the difference

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the starting point for a split of finances 50, 50?

Yes, the starting point is 50 50, however, this may be departed from as there may be issues to consider such as contributions to the marriage, pre-marital wealth and inheritance payments introduced into the marriage.

I do not think a split of our assets 50 50 is fair, can this be departing from?

The 50 50 split is a broad concept depending on the parties’ individual circumstances and is influenced by recent case law in addition to the statutory criteria. The starting point was set out in the famous case of White v White in 2001, however, there are often reasons to depart from this. One party may earn more than the other, they may be minor dependent children whose primary home is with one party, there may be issues such as inherited assets, premarital acquired wealth, contributions of such a nature which should be taken into account and a whole host of other factors. A 50 50 division of assets is not always appropriate.

What happens if we cannot agree on how to split our finances and the matter goes to court?

The court will impose a timetable setting out the steps the parties will need to comply with before the matter can be heard at a final hearing, unless an agreement is made by the parties prior to the final hearing. If necessary, the court will also direct independent valuations of those assets for which the parties cannot reach an agreed valuation for.

Do I have to pay for all of my costs in relation to a division of finances?

The court can, in appropriate cases, make an order requiring one party to make a financial contribution towards the legal expenses of the other party.

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