For many separating couples the greatest challenge will be addressing the financial consequences of separation. The law is complex and expert support is essential. The decisions you make now will affect your financial security for many years to come.
Resolving Financial Issues:
Divorce or dissolution of Civil Partnership gives the Court the power, if asked, to sort out financial arrangements for you. Sometimes Court proceedings are essential to ensure that your interests are protected, particularly if your partner is uncooperative. Sometimes urgent steps need to be taken to protect family assets or your interest in the family home.
In a free initial advice appointment, we can identify and advise on what might need to be done to protect your position. Helen Jackson and Nigel Rostance have decades of experience in representing clients in Courts locally and further afield.
Many clients will prefer to avoid Court proceedings and at 1st Solicitors we specialise in out of Court settlements. In every case we discuss with you the best way to achieve your objectives, adopting the procedure(s) that will best meet your particular needs. That many involve:
Some clients are able to agree arrangements direct with their former partner. We are happy to support and advise in the background if this is safe and appropriate in your situation.
Solicitor Led Negotiations:
We can deal with your partner or partner’s solicitor on your behalf, to ensure that you have all of the information that you need to make informed decisions for the best possible outcome for you.
Round Table Meetings:
Sometimes a face to face meeting with solicitors present can save weeks or months of letter writing, avoid misunderstandings and gets straight to the issues.
Helen Jackson was one of the first solicitors in Staffordshire to qualify to offer this procedure. Collaborative procedure has been described as “divorce with dignity”.
In Collaborative procedure you and your partner will meet together with your collaborative lawyers, adopting a joint problem solving approach and committing not to go to Court.
Collaborative procedure offers a high success rate.
We can direct you to the best qualified mediation service for your particular needs. In most cases solicitors will remain in the background whilst an independent mediator helps you agree arrangements with your partner. In some cases, solicitors will be directly involved in mediation and we have years of experience supporting clients directly or indirectly in mediation.
Making financial arrangements for separation or divorce will typically involve the following:
Pensions – Often overlooked pensions can be valuable assets providing much needed income in later life. Pension sharing or pension attachment might be appropriate or pension claims might be offset against other assets.
We have years of experience of dealing with MOD, police and other Public Sector occupational pensions, private and money purchase pensions. In some cases, advice from a Pensions Actuary might be necessary to protect your interest.
Housing – You and your partner will both need somewhere to live. Selling the family home is one option. We can advise on other alternatives.
Maintenance – In most cases former partners won’t receive maintenance for themselves. Parents will always have an obligation to maintain their children. The maintenance might be secured by a Consent Order or by application to the Child Maintenance Service.
Family Business – The security of your family business can be particularly vulnerable if partners work together or one partner owns shares in the other’s business. Urgent action may be necessary to protect the business.
Collaborative procedure is particularly well suited in complex financial situations.
A Consent Order or Separation Agreement is essential to secure your agreement. Even if you remain on the best of terms with your former partner you must secure your agreement so that there is no risk of your agreement being overturned in the future.