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Finances upon the breakdown of a civil partnership

A great deal of stress and emotional angst is involved when a relationship breaks down. The negotiation of the terms of the dissolution of the civil partnership, the stress of how the children will cope and your future financial security only add to an already very stressful time.

You can use other routes such as mediation when dealing with your finances during the dissolution of your civil partnership but sometimes this will not be possible. Austin Kemp can advise you on whether this would be suitable for you and who you can turn to if it is. We can also discuss the option of a ‘collaborative process’. This is where you and your partner both have a solicitor but share a commitment to avoid litigation. This usually includes informal meetings with you and your partner and both of your solicitors present.

When going through the dissolution of a civil partnership it is extremely important to get the best legal advice regarding your wealth and assets. Austin Kemp have a team of experienced solicitors who specialise in advising high net worth individuals on the potential impact of their dissolution on their pension funds and investments, whether they be in the UK or abroad.

Austin Kemp can help you whether you think your partner is hiding their assets or whether your partner thinks that you have more assets than you actually do. We can also advise you on the financial impact the dissolution will have on your assets if you think that you want to leave your partner, or think your partner intends to leave you. It is invaluable to get legal advice very early on and can make a real difference to the outcome of your case.

At Austin Kemp we have solicitors who are highly skilled in negotiating with your partner’s solicitor in order to get you the best possible outcome.

If an agreement cannot be reached then financial proceedings in court may need to commence. This can only be done once the dissolution petition has been issued. Both parties will need to make a full disclosure of their financial situation.

Going to court – the two stage process and up to three court hearings

The court has two jobs to do. First, it has to decide what assets, income, liabilities, and needs each of you has. Secondly, it has to decide how to allocate what you have to meet your needs.

The first hearing is the First Direction Appointment (FDA). The court will review the information and documents you have each put in to check that it has everything it needs to take a decision.

The second hearing is the Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR). The court will give clear guidance as to the sort of orders you could expect if there were a full trial, in the hope that agreement can be reached.

The third hearing is the trial itself, at which evidence is given, witnesses cross-examined, and the judge gives the judgement.

It is worth noting that what is seen as fair in one case may not be fair in another and, although the judge must take into account the factors in Section 26 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, it is case law that provides guidance on the interpretation on this.

Both you and your partner can claim for income, capital and pension provision. The more complex your financial situation, the more lengthy the process and the more important it is to get the correct legal advice from specialist solicitors such as Austin Kemp.

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