One of the primary reasons for doing this is cost.
The relevant forms can be found on official websites and couples can then file the papers themselves. Whilst this can be done (and indeed if both couples are in agreement and co-operate, the process can be fairly simple), it is inevitable that sometimes costly mistakes are made or issues are overlooked.
What many people don’t realise, is that the financial aspect of a divorce is actually separate from the divorce process itself. Even if a couple has no, or very little, money, it is still important to obtain a court order that would dismiss financial claims, such as maintenance or pension sharing.
What goes onto this court order can be decided between you and your spouse or, if you are unable to reach an agreement, the financial settlement decided by a judge.
Back in 2015, involving a couple who were married for 3 years, before separating in the mid 1980’s.
After the separation, Ms Wyatt was the primary carer for the children, one of whom they had together, the other from a previous relationship of Ms Wyatt. She struggled to afford the costs associated with housing herself and the children.
Mr Vince paid no maintenance until his son was almost an adult, because he did not have much money himself.
Ms Wyatt and Mr Vince divorced in 1992.
Mr Vince then went on to set up a successful company, which was reportedly worth £57 million. in 2011, more than 25 years after they’d separated, Ms Wyatt made an application to the courts for financial orders, including a lump sum.
Initially, Mr Vince tried to have the case dismissed but did not succeed in doing so.
Eventually, a settlement was reached between Ms Wyatt and Mr Vince, which involved Mr Vince paying Ms Wyatt a £300,000 lump sum.
This case emphasises the importance of dealing with financial matters upon divorce.
An informal agreement is simply not enough.
Even if you have reached an agreement with your spouse regarding your financial settlement, it is a good idea to obtain independent legal advice so that you can be sure that your agreement is fair and that you fully understand your rights.
If you are getting a divorce, or have been divorced for some time, but are not sure if you have a financial court order, it’s important to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible.
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