Arguably the most stressful and challenging aspect of any divorce or dissolution if not handled with skill, care and the right approach. But getting a satisfactory financial settlement is an important part of securing your future. A financial settlement is a legally binding decision outlining how your assets and wealth are to be divided at the end of your marriage or civil partnership. A financial settlement can include the following: 
 
Property 
Savings and investments 
Shares 
Pensions 
Business interests 
Contents and personal items, such as cars 
Debts, such as credit cards or loans 
Maintenance 

The process for obtaining a financial settlement  

There are various options open to separating couples when dealing with financial matters, such as: 
In person discussions between spouses/partner 
Mediation 
Negotiations through solicitors, and 
Court 

Dislcosure 

Whichever way you decide to proceed it is important to have a full and detailed understanding of the assets and wealth before a final settlement is reached. Disclosure is the term used for financial information provided by parties. What this means is details of yours and your spouse’s/partner’s assets, including pensions, debts and income, which is exchanged prior to the commencement of negotiations. Without disclosure we won’t be able to advise you on what is a fair and appropriate settlement as we will not know what the pot of assets is to be divided. It is usual practice to use a financial statement known as a Form E to provide disclosure. This is the form used by parties when they are in court proceedings, therefore it is good practice to use it even where parties are not. 

What are the relevant considerations when determining a financial settlement? 

There are a number of factors that are taken into account when determining a financial settlement. These factors are contained within the Matrimonial Causes Act and are therefore used by the court when the court is asked to decide the settlement. They are also used by solicitors when advising on settlement and engaging in negotiations. 
 
The factors include: 
 
The first consideration is the welfare of any minor children 
The income, earning capacity, property and resources of both parties now and in the foreseeable future 
The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of the parties now or in the foreseeable future 
The standard of living enjoyed by the family prior to the separation 
The age of the parties and length of the marriage 
Any physical or mental disability of the parties 
The contribution each of the parties has made to the marriage or may make in the foreseeable future 
The conduct/behaviour of the parties, however this is only taken into account in very exceptional circumstances 
The value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring. 
With so much to consider, you need to have the best legal expertise on your side. Our solicitors have decades of experience and are also members of Resolution, which means we are committed to promoting a constructive approach to family issues that considers the needs of the whole family. We offer a personal service, ensuring you are supported every step of the way. 
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