FAMILY & RELATIONSHIP LAW

Divorce Solicitors

Atkins Dellow > Family and Relationships > Divorce and Separation

Divorce and Separation Lawyers

Divorce can be one of the hardest things to go through. You’ll need the best divorce solicitors you can find to help you achieve the fairest result with the least possible heartache.

Our experienced team of Family and Relationship Law Solicitors are experts and are ready to help you.

The legal side of splitting up with your partner can be complex as all relationships are different in things like living arrangements and ways of owning assets. Our family law solicitors can help guide you through this and provide the legal necessities to protect your share of assets you owned in your relationship.

What divorce and separation legal services do we provide?

If you’re divorcing or separating from your partner, our team of expert Divorce Lawyers can help you in that process by providing advice on:

  • Separation agreements
  • Change of Name Deeds
  • Judicial Separations
  • Financial Negotiations
  • Fixed fee divorces
  • Pension Sharing Arrangements
  • Child Residence Arrangements
  • Child Contact Arrangements
  • Financial Orders

For more information about any of the above mentioned services, get in touch with our team today on 0330 912 8338.

Contemplating separation or divorce in the UK raises a myriad of legal considerations and practical implications which should be carefully considered to protect your interests.

The process can be emotionally and legally complex, with various aspects requiring careful attention, including financial arrangements, property interests, children.

Financial Arrangements

Financial arrangements are a fundamental aspect of separation or divorce. It involves the division of assets, debts, and financial responsibilities accumulated during the relationship. Spouses are encouraged to reach a financial settlement through negotiation or mediation. If agreement can’t be reached, it may (in rare circumstances) be necessary to ask the court to determine the division of assets and financial support, considering factors such as income, earning capacity, and the needs of any children involved.

Property & Assets

Property interests can be particularly intricate during separation or divorce. The ownership of shared property, including the family home, will need to be addressed. Options include selling assets and dividing the proceeds or one party buying out the other’s share. Cohabitants who are not married may face different property rights and may need to rely on land and property laws to resolve ownership disputes.

Children Arrangements

When children are involved in a separation or divorce, their best interests are paramount. Both parents are encouraged to prioritise the welfare and upbringing of their children. Arrangements for child residence, contact, and financial support should be established. If parents cannot agree, a court may be asked to make decisions based on the children’s best interests, taking into account factors such as their age, wishes, and emotional and educational needs.

Death of a Party

The death of one of the parties during the separation or divorce process can have legal implications. It is crucial to update Wills and other legal documents to reflect changes in circumstances and ensure assets are distributed according to the individual’s wishes. In the absence of a valid Will, the rules of intestacy may apply, which may not align with the individual’s desired distribution of assets.

Unforeseen Consequences

Unforeseen consequences can arise during separation or divorce. Emotional and financial stress, strained relationships with children, and potential disputes over assets and support payments are some common challenges. Seeking professional advice from family lawyers and considering alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation can help mitigate these consequences and promote a more amicable resolution.

Differences for Married and Cohabiting Couples

It’s worth noting that the legal considerations and implications will differ depending on whether the couple was married or cohabiting. Married couples have specific legal rights and obligations, while cohabitants may need to rely on contractual agreements or establish legal ownership through property laws.

In summary, the legal considerations and implications of separation or divorce requires contemplating a multitude of possibilities including financial arrangements, property interests, children, the death of a party, and potential unforeseen consequences.

Getting good legal advice from the outset could be crucial to the best outcome. Engaging in open communication and considering alternative dispute resolution methods can help.

Our team will support you through the complexities of this challenging process and protect your rights and interests.

Divorce and Separation FAQs

What is a Divorce?

Divorce is the official legal act of ending a marriage, deciding on the division of finances is a separate issue.

Can we separate without getting divorced?

Married couples and Civil Partners can separate but remain married. They may separate informally whether by agreement or by one party making a decision to do so. Financial arrangements on separation may be made informally between the parties or formalised in a Separation Agreement. In some circumstances the separation of the relationship may be formalised by a Judicial Separation Unmarried couples may require a Separation Agreement to record the separation or financial arrangements.

What is the difference between Divorce and Separation?

The main difference between Divorce and Separation is that a Separation Agreement doesn’t put an end to a marriage, it simply record arrangements agreed between a couple to live separately. Whereas a divorce ends the marriage.

What is a Matrimonial Financial Order?

To finalise the division of finances on divorce requires a matrimonial Financial Order. This may be agreed between the parties and ratified by the court (a Consent Order) or decided by the court if the parties cannot agree.

What legal rights do cohabitants have when going through a divorce or separation?

Cohabitants do not have the same automatic legal rights as married couples. Financial settlements and property interests need to be negotiated or determined through legal channels.

How are financial arrangements settled during a divorce or separation?

Financial arrangements can be settled through negotiation, mediation, or, if necessary, going to court. The aim is to reach a fair division of assets and establish financial support where needed.

What happens to jointly owned property during a divorce or separation?

Jointly owned property may be sold, or one party may buy out the other’s share. If an agreement cannot be reached, a court may be asked to determine a fair division of property.

What legal considerations are there for children of the relationship during a divorce or separation?

The well-being and best interests of children in a divorce are prioritised. Child living arrangements, contact, and financial support arrangements should be established. If parents cannot agree, a court may be asked to decide based on the children’s best interests.

How does the death of one party impact the divorce or separation process?

In the event of the death of one party, the divorce or separation process will inevitably be affected. Considering life insurance arrangements and taking relevant advise from independent financial advisers is important. Estate planning, including updating Wills, is always crucial to ensure assets are distributed as desired.

What potential unforeseen consequences can arise during a divorce or separation?

Unforeseen consequences can include emotional and financial stress, disputes over assets and support, strained relationships with children, the taxation consequences of selling assets and the need for adjustments to future plans.

Are the legal implications different for first-time divorcing couples?

First-time divorcing couples may have fewer financial and legal entanglements, simplifying the process to some extent. However, it is still important to address financial settlements and child-related matters.

What additional legal considerations exist for those divorcing later in life after previous marriages?

Divorcing later in life may involve complex financial considerations, such as existing financial commitments, the arrangements for children of blended families, property ownership, and support obligations from previous relationships.

How can individuals protect their financial interests on a divorce or separation?

Seeking legal advice is crucial to understand rights and obligations. Working with legal professionals, accountants and relevant advice from an independent financial adviser can help protect financial interests through negotiation, mediation, or court proceedings.

What if financial matters cannot be agreed in a divorce or separation?

If financial matters can’t be agreed by discussion and negotiation, it may be necessary to seek legal advice and perhaps through mediation, or potentially resorting to court proceedings, to resolve disputes and establish a fair financial settlement.

What happens to pensions and retirement savings on a divorce or separation?

Pensions and retirement savings may be subject to division between the parties, depending on the circumstances. Seeking legal advice and independent financial adviser advice, and considering pension sharing orders are important steps.

How can I ensure my children's best interests are protected through a divorce or separation?

Establishing child residence (custody) arrangements, contact arrangements, and financial support through negotiation and agreement is the ideal solution. If agreement can’t be reached it may be necessary to seek court orders to help protect children’s best interests and provide stability.

How is the division of assets, including the matrimonial home, determined in a divorce or separation?

The division of assets, including the matrimonial home, is typically based on a starting point of equality, adjusted by the needs of the parties and children. Factors such as financial contributions, earning capacity, needs of the parties, duration of the marriage, needs of and any children, and other relevant circumstances are taken into account.

What happens to other property interests on a divorce or separation?

Other property interests, such as additional homes or investment properties, may be subject to division or sale as part of the financial settlement. The aim is to achieve a fair distribution of assets.

How are business interests handled in a divorce or separation?

Business interests can be complex. The value of the business may be considered as an asset in the settlement. Options include selling the business, transferring ownership, or compensating the other party through other assets.

What if one or both parties own properties abroad?

Properties owned abroad are generally included in the financial settlement. Legal advice from professionals with expertise in international family law can help navigate the complexities of cross-border assets.

How are financial settlements impacted by the presence of children in the relationship?

Financial settlements take into account the needs of the children, including housing, education, and general well-being. Child maintenance payments may also be established to support their upbringing.

What happens if one party passes away before the financial settlement is finalised?

The death of one party can complicate the settlement process. It is essential to update Wills and estate plans to reflect the changing circumstances and ensure that your assets would go to the beneficiaries you want to receive them.

Are there any unforeseen consequences that may arise during the financial settlement process?

Unforeseen consequences can include tax implications, hidden assets, or undisclosed debts. Seeking professional legal and financial advice can help identify and address these potential issues.

What if one party owns a business that was established before the relationship began?

Pre-existing businesses may be considered non-matrimonial assets, but their value and any increase in value during the relationship may still be subject to negotiation and division.

How are pensions and retirement savings handled in a financial settlement?

Pensions and retirement savings can be considered matrimonial assets. Options include sharing pension assets or offsetting their value against other assets in the settlement.

Can a financial settlement be revised in the future if circumstances change?

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to seek a variation of the financial settlement if there are significant changes in circumstances, such as job loss or an unexpected increase in wealth.

What if one party hides or undervalues assets during the financial settlement process?

Hiding or undervaluing assets is unlawful and can have serious legal consequences. Disclosing all assets and liabilities is a legal requirement, and penalties may apply for non-compliance.

Are financial settlements different for couples who were cohabiting rather than married?

The legal rights and entitlements of cohabiting couples are different from those of married couples. Cohabitants may need to rely on property and trust law principles to determine their financial settlements.

How can alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative law, help in reaching a financial settlement?

Alternative dispute resolution methods can provide a more amicable and cost-effective approach to reaching a financial settlement. They encourage open communication and cooperation between the parties involved.

What role does legal advice play in reaching a fair and equitable financial settlement?

Legal advice is crucial in navigating the complexities of financial settlements. It ensures that individuals understand their rights, obligations, and the potential consequences of their decisions.

Meet our Team of Family and Relationship Solicitors

Atkins Dellow is member of

resolution family department

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