Financial considerations on separation

read time: 3 mins

Navigating finances on divorce can be an incredibly stressful and emotional process. There are lots of things to consider, alongside children and other matters linked to separation. Breaking things down into and taking the process step by step can allow things to seem more manageable.

Initial considerations

Once a decision is made to separate, it is useful to think about the interim plans including living arrangements, outgoings and monthly costs and how those will be funded, costs in respect of caring for the children and the allocation of responsibilities during this period.

Setting boundaries and keeping conversations amicable can also be very useful, not only initially, but in the long term. Working out what method of communication and the frequency of communication and reaching an agreement in that respect can help to alleviate some tension.

Seeking legal advice at an early stage will assist in knowing your options and what you need to consider both initially and in the long term. This can also assist in keeping discussions amicable and help provide topics for consideration between you.

Working with a counsellor or divorce coach can often help to try and deal with the emotions which come with a separation and help put plans in place to move forwards.

Looking ahead

If the decision to separate remains permanent, discussing formalising the separation is a useful next step. Considering the divorce process and reaching a financial agreement alongside the divorce are two very important steps.

There are many ways to discuss and agree financial arrangements, including through direct discussions, mediation and through solicitors. There are also a number of legal voluntary processes such as private hearings, collaborative law and arbitration which can also assist. Ultimately, the court process is there should an agreement not be reached by any other means.

Once an agreement is reached, it is extremely important that this is documented in an approved court order. This makes sure that the agreement is binding and enforceable. It also severs ongoing financial ties between a couple, making sure that what they have agreed is the final settlement.

Other things to think about

When separating, it is important to review a Will or draft one if one is not already in place. It is important to think about any tax consequences, ownership of property currently and in the long term too. Seeking specialist advice is key to making sure that your wishes are reflected and all aspects are considered at every stage of the process.

Alongside the finances, making arrangements for the children are crucial both immediately and in the long term. Thinking about day to day living arrangements, holiday time and co-parenting are a few of the topics to be put on the agenda for discussion and hopefully an agreement can be reached. Similar support options are in place to the finances if an agreement cannot be reached directly, including mediation, solicitor negotiations and the other voluntary and court processes.

For more information, please speak to our Family team or contact Megan Prideaux.

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