It’s important to know where you stand financially during a divorce. The termination of a relationship can have effects on your finances, and, in fact, your life as a whole.

That’s why clarity on where you stand from a legal perspective during a divorce is important. There are many aspects which can affect your claim to your joint finances during/after your divorce.

What effect will my marital status have on my finances after separation?

When married or in a civil partnership you have an automatic claim to the finances of your spouse/partner after you seperate or dissolve you union. When claiming there are two principles, under English law, that are applied:

  • “Sharing principle” – covering the division of assets
  • “Needs principle” – takes into account what you actually need to manage in the future.

If you have separated from your partner, but you was not married, you have no automatic legal claim to their finances.

The nature of your legal claim to the finances of your spouse/partner/cohabitee can also be changed in the event there is an existing prenuptial agreement, pre-civil partnership agreement or cohabitation agreement. Although these types of documents will only hold a legal basis if the terms within them adhere to the rule of the UK law and the Court deems them as fair.

What are my legal rights to finances in my divorce?

Automatically, you have a legal right to your spouse’s finances if your married or in a civil partnership, therefore a divorce will result in the division of your combined assets.

The main focus on concluding a financial settlement in a divorce/dissolution is how much you will both require to live on after the termination of the union. If there are no children involved then the Court’s main financial consideration will be to ensure your individual needs are met, meaning you will have somewhere to live and you can support yourself financially.

However, if children are involved their needs will, in the eyes of the law, come first. This means the assets will be looked at as family assets and may, as a result, be split unequally, this is to ensure the parent who cares for the children for the majority of the time has somewhere to live.

Am I likely to face legal issues?

It can be both difficult and expensive to reach a financial settlement in a divorce, however the entire process can be easier and have less expense if you and your spouse/partner can agree on a settlement that you both feel is fair.

If unable to come to agreeable terms regarding a settlement then you may hire a solicitor to mediate the situation, if you and your spouse/partner still cannot come to an agreement then you will have to apply to Court in order to resolve the issue.

It is important to ensure all information regarding all capital assets are disclosed in full. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment or expensive legal proceedings in the future, if you suspect your spouse/partner isn’t disclosing all their finances and is acting dishonestly then you should ensure you hire an experienced divorce solicitor to make further investigations on your behalf.

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