Financial arrangements

If your relationship breaks down, it can be the financial arrangements that cause you greatest concern. You and your partner should, wherever possible, try to resolve these issues between yourselves.

In cases where communication has either completely or partially broken down, this may not be possible, in which case you can ask the court to help resolve the situation. Whichever way you proceed, you have an obligation to disclose all your financial circumstances, including assets, income, pensions and liabilities.

I always advise my clients to try to reach a financial settlement as early as possible and to avoid court proceedings – the legal costs of both parties have to come out of the ‘matrimonial pot’, so obviously at the end of the process there will be less money to distribute between the parties. It’s vital that you bear in mind that the legal costs incurred must be proportionate to the value of the assets in dispute.

When you reach an agreement, either between yourselves or through mediation, I must still ask the court to approve the agreement; this process is usually formally concluded by what is known as a Consent Order, so that the agreement will not break down at a later date. In all cases the court takes into account various factors – these include, for example, your ages, the length of your marriage, your needs, those of your partner, and those of your children. The court can also take into account individual financial contributions you or your partner make.

Rupert Bedford
07860 472 316