Before we can look at how to protect finances during divorce we need to understand that the prospect of untangling a long financial history with a spouse, can seem like a formidable task. As daunting as it may be, it is important to begin the process of dealing with the family finances as early on in the divorce process as possible. Gaining a good understanding of your financial situation now and what it may look like after divorce, is a key part of the divorce process.
Knowing exactly what your financial situation looks like is essential before considering your finances during divorce, so that you can begin to make plans for how to deal with it.
Write down any assets that you have bought together. Have you taken out any loans to fund these purchases? For example, do you and your spouse have a mortgage together?
Include any investments that you have made as a couple, such as any shares you have bought.
It is vital to agree how you are going to deal with any bills while the divorce is going through, in order to avoid running up debt or damaging your credit rating.
If you are sure that you and your spouse are going to go your separate ways, it is wise to make contact with any loan providers or banks, with which you and your spouse have joint loans or bank accounts.
They should be able to advise you of what your options are, with regards to your accounts and loans. For example, your bank could offer you the option of freezing any joint accounts.
The family home can often be one of the largest, if not the largest, asset in a divorce settlement when considering finances during divorce.
If the family home is owned solely by your spouse, it may be possible to register your interest in it, to ensure that it is not sold without your knowledge. Speak to your solicitor for more information about this.
There may also be instances when you would want to change the way the family home is owned. For example, if you are ‘joint tenants’, your spouse may get your share of the property if you die before the divorce is finalised.
If you are renting your family home, who is responsible for the rent and how long you can live there (or conversely how long until you can leave the tenancy agreement) will depend on your contract. If you want to leave before your tenancy agreement is up, you could try to talk to your landlord to see if s/he would be willing for you to do this.
It may be possible, in some circumstances, to go to court to ask a judge to stop your spouse from selling or transferring any assets or moving them abroad when dealing with your finances during divorce.
This is a highly complex area of law, so it is vital to seek advice from a solicitor if you are concerned that your spouse is about to do this.
Deciding whether to negotiate your finances during divorce yourself or get your solicitor to negotiate for you is a big decision for many people. As with everything, there are both advantages and disadvantages.
One of a few downsides to getting a solicitor to negotiate your financial settlement on your behalf is expense. Depending on your situation, negotiations can take a long time. As most solicitors charge by the hour this can end up running into a large bill. However, a good solicitor negotiating on your behalf can help you settle your finances during divorce in your favour. Some solicitors will also offer fixed fee negotiations.
Sometimes, solicitor negotiations can make things more difficult and tense between you and your spouse. A specialist solicitor should be able to keep this to a minimum through effective negotiations.
You could also feel that you have lost control of your negotiations of your finances during divorce if your solicitor is doing your negotiations for you. If you hire a good solicitor then they should make sure that you still have input into and control of the negotiations and indeed the divorce process as a whole. Austin Kemp’s experienced solicitors can talk you through the pros and cons to help you make the right decision for you.
Our expert divorce and family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues, including:
For more information on your divorce options, call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email@example.com.
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