If you cannot reach agreement on financial issues, you need to bear in mind that, if the matters ends up in court proceedings, there will be an expectation of full financial disclosure by both parties. It is also an expectation that you will attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting with a trained mediator. We have links with local mediators to assist with this. A court order - made either after court proceedings, or by agreement - is enforceable if there is default in its terms.
The law on finances upon divorce is open to the discretion of the judge and much will depend on how the matter is progressed at court. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account such as:
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each party has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that each party has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
- The age of each party and the duration of the marriage
- Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties
- The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely to make in the foreseeable future to the welfare of the family
- The conduct of each of the parties (in limited circumstances) and
- The value of any benefit which a party will lose the chance of acquiring by reason of the divorce
Assets brought to the marriage are often treated differently to those accumulated during the marriage. Pensions have their own complexities and specialist advice may be necessary from an accountant or financial actuary.
The court can make orders in relation to both income and capital, providing for maintenance of a spouse or school fees of a child. Income orders can be varied but capital orders are usually final.
Interim maintenance orders can be made if the procedure is protracted.