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Is a financial settlement really that important?

The end of a relationship can be an extremely emotional and difficult time. Reaching the decision to apply for divorce is often not easy.

Dealing with the financial settlement aspect of a divorce can, for many, seem very low down on the ‘to-do’ list. As divorce solicitors, it is not unusual for clients to come and see us to start divorce proceedings and to have not yet considered how the financial settlement may look further down the line.


Why deal with finances at the same time as divorce?


If a couple do not agree a financial settlement at the time of divorce, there is a possibility that  financial claims could be made by either party in the future.


One such case hit the headlines in March 2015, when a woman, Kathleen Wyatt, who had been divorced for over twenty years, was granted permission by the courts to lodge a claim against her ex-spouse, Dave Vince.


The couple had met back in 1981, when they were reportedly “penniless travellers”. They went on to have a child together but, after ending their relationship in 1984, later divorced in 1992. They reportedly did not make a financial settlement when they divorced, as they had “so few assets”.


Mr Vince later became a multimillionaire businessman.


In June 2016, Ms Wyatt was awarded a £300,000 lump sum. The couple had, at this point, been divorced for more than 23 years.


financial settlement


Dealing with finances at the time of divorce is vital


This case illustrates how important it is to deal with finances at the time of divorce.


Whilst the circumstances are somewhat unusual (not many of us will see our previously penniless partners become millionaires), it serves to highlight how important it is to finalise financial matters and not to leave claims for financial provision open.


It is also worth noting here that not dealing with financial matters upon divorce could result in you being financially associated with your ex-spouse i.e. still linked to them financially. This may affect your credit score if, for example, your ex-spouse runs up debt in the future.


Reaching a financial settlement


Sometimes, a couple can agree what their financial settlement will look like, between themselves.


If no agreement can be reached, other methods such as mediation or Collaborative Law can be utilised.


Due to the time-consuming and expensive nature of asking a court to decide a financial settlement, this should usually be viewed as a last resort if no agreement can be reached.


The importance of consent orders


When a financial settlement is agreed, a couple can make this legally binding by obtaining a consent order from the courts.


This can set out everything from what will happen to the family home to any pension sharing that will take place.


It is highly recommended to seek advice from a solicitor regarding whether a consent order would be right for your circumstances.


Do you need help with advice on finances during divorce


Our expert divorce and family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on finances during divorce


For more information on your divorce options, call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or mail@austinkemp.co.uk.


Our expert divorce and family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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