Family Law Solicitors

Financial Settlement

At Farani Taylor, we use our legal experience to eliminate the difficulties associated with the financial settlement. Our knowledgeable and understanding team ensures you are treated fairly, whilst providing you with the advice and support you require to plan a secure future for you and your loved ones.

How our Finacial Settlement solicitors could help

Once you and your ex-partner have taken the decision to divorce or separate, dividing and sharing finances and assets can feel daunting. 

With so much to consider, it is advisable to have knowledgeable legal expertise on your side. Our highly regarded solicitors have decades of experience with financial settlement proceedings. We have worked in the highest courts, challenging decisions and changing the standards in which these types of cases are viewed. We offer a bespoke service, ensuring you are supported through every facet of your case. The financial settlement varies from person to person, so we look at your finances and lifestyle to ensure you receive the fairest outcome possible. 

If you need any further information or help on the Financial Settlement, please contact our Family Law Solicitors on 0207 242 1666.

The financial settlement services we provide

We have an extensive list of services that we can utilise if required. The first thing we do is look at your situation to decide which services would benefit you. 

Types of factors we take into account when deciding what services to apply to your case are:

  • You and your partner’s assets and finances;
  • You and your partner’s current and future needs;
  • Each of your earnings and earning capacity;
  • Whether there is any foreseeable change in your or your partner’s finances;
  • Whether you have children, and if so, their ages and needs;
  • The age of you and your partner;
  • Both parties’ health, and whether this will affect your future abilities to earn; and
  • The length of your marriage – including any time spent living together before you got married.

We may determine that court is not necessary to reach a financial settlement if we can support you in reaching a mutually agreeable outcome with your ex-partner. Our family law team includes trained mediators and arbitrators who can also help you achieve a speedy resolution. Contact us today and we can provide you with a free consultation to discuss in more detail the services we offer that are best suited to you. 

What is a consent order?

A consent order is a legally binding order made by the court. The order authenticates the financial agreement made by you and your ex-partner making it a legally binding settlement. The order documents what happens to property, pensions, and other assets when your divorce is finalised. It can also detail any ongoing spousal support or financial payments between you both.

Types of orders

The court has the power to make orders for a spouse including:

Periodical payments (maintenance): A periodical payments order provides details of payments made to a spouse/civil partner or a former spouse/civil partner, for themselves or for a child from the family.

Secured periodical payments (maintenance that is charged against an asset): A periodical payments order, is where one party must make regular payments to a party either in the marriage or to/for a child of the family. The payment schedule is determined by the court, but it is usually weekly or monthly. This kind of order is often referred to as an order for ‘maintenance’.

Lump-sum payments: The court may make a lump sum payment order which requires your ex-partner to pay a lump sum of money to you. The court can also order a part payment whereby the court order is made following other payments, for example, when the property is sold.

Property adjustment orders (transfer legal ownership of an asset): Property Adjustment Orders are court orders that determine what happens to the family home when you divorce or separate if you haven’t been able to mutually agree upon a decision.

Pension attachment/pension sharing orders: If a pension attachment order is granted, then when a party starts to draw retirement benefits, part or all of them is paid to your ex-partner. The court instructs your pension administrator or provider to make these payments on your behalf or vice versa.

Finance

Circumstances that need to be taken into considerations include the duration of the marriage, the ages of the parties, their assets, incomes, and earning capacities. Further, there is a consideration for the standard of living during the marriage, financial needs, and the contributions and acquisitions of family wealth.

Our team of skilled solicitors clarifies the relevance of each of these factors to your circumstances.

There is no single answer to any particular case but we advise what we believe is an achievable and suitable settlement.

A crucial stage in reaching a fair and reasonable settlement is the requirement for both parties to engage in what is called ‘financial disclosure’. All assets owned by each spouse and liabilities in their sole name, as well as those jointly held, need to be recognised and documented and the information exchanged with the other party. Characteristically these include the family home, pensions, stocks and shares, cars, business assets, and so on.

How to reach a divorce financial Settlement?

Contemplating divorce or separation can be a distressing and frustrating time. The financial implications can be huge as well as the emotional turmoil it can cause having to face a court, requesting a total stranger makes a decision on your personal circumstances for you. There are other alternatives you can choose before residing with the court and we strongly encourage ex-partners to explore other options first. 

1. A Negotiated Settlement Visa Advocates

This is one of the most popular methods used to try and reach a financial settlement and all custody matters.

Before you discuss negotiations, you need advice on where you stand, the options available, and what happens if you are able to litigate before the court. Our family law solicitors can provide you with an initial, free consultation to discuss this option with you. 

Disclosure of each party’s income and capital assets needs to take place before any negotiation, this initial process can be complex, particularly if there are assets that are difficult to value. However, you can not even begin to consider negotiations until all assets have been fully disclosed. Once the information has been disclosed, then negotiations can begin. This can be done with a mediator present or via correspondence through the mail. 

If an agreement is made, the terms are required to be secured in a court order.

2. Direct Negotiation Between the Parties 

It can be possible to reach a mutual agreement directly with your ex-partner in relation to finances and children and in other cases, the prospect of this option is impossible. 

Regardless of your situation, it is important to obtain expert legal advice before you attempt to reach an agreement. Both parties need to know where they stand and what options are available before they can constructively reach a divorce financial settlement.

If you and your ex-partner want to negotiate directly with one another, initial consultation with us provides you with the advice and information required to discuss and reach an amicable financial settlement.

3. Residing with Court

If all of the methods mentioned above are to be successful, both parties need to commit in order to reach a divorce financial settlement in the UK. If either party doesn’t agree or if negotiations have been unsuccessful, the only viable option left is the court process. Our solicitors guide you through the court process, supporting you with decision making, negotiations and act on your behalf to ensure the outcome you receive is the best available for you. 

Reaching a financial settlement agreement

The financial settlement is usually agreed upon after negotiations have taken place. Regardless of the negotiation process that has occurred, the criteria set by the court are what will matter in finalising the settlement. The aforementioned point regarding full financial disclosure is imperative for both parties. The settlement will be heavily delayed if full transparency hasn’t occurred prior to the hearing. The court always attempts to reach a settlement that is fair for both parties, so having everything meticulously drawn out and agreed upon prior to court hugely impacts a timely settlement being reached. 

The financial agreement needs to be made into a consent order and approved by a court in order for it to be deemed as legally binding following a decree absolute. The court doesn’t need to be involved in negotiations, even in matters where assets are complex or independent valuation is required. Very few settlement cases rely on the court to determine the outcome and usually occur only after several attempts at mutual agreements have been made beforehand. 

There is no ‘best’ approach to take when considering divorce financial settlement, it is a very personal journey and you and your ex-partner must do what you feel is the best for you both. 

If you would like to arrange mediation or simply receive some expert advice, please get in touch with our family law solicitors. We can handle your consultation discreetly, providing you with options that are the most suitable for you. For more information, please check out here from Gov.uk.

Financial Remedy Proceedings

If a negotiated settlement is not possible then financial remedy proceedings become necessary. This process is also known as court proceedings and it is designed to ensure full financial disclosure occurs, whilst encouraging both parties to reach an agreement where possible. The Judge only makes a decision on the division of assets as a final option.

We have set out below the process of those proceedings

Issue of proceedings

The applicant issues a Form A with the court to begin the process.  We can prepare this for you and advise you of the fees and processes.  Once the application is received by the court, we need to serve any relevant mortgage providers or pension companies, on your behalf. 

The court provides a timetable for the case, which includes a:

  • Date to file and exchange financial statements (known as Form Es)
  • Date to file and exchange questionnaires (questions put the other party for further information, a statement of issues and a chronology (detailing relevant dates).  This will normally be 14 days before the first directions appointment (FDA)
  • A date for the FDA hearing.
  • An FDA hearing’s objective is for the judge to determine if any further information is required from either party. At the FDA, the judge will encourage negotiations between each party and if this cannot be agreed here, will set a date for a financial dispute resolution hearing (FDR). 

Upon completion of additional information being determined, each party is required to make a proposal for their settlement, sending these to the court in advance of the FDR. The majority of cases are settled at or before the FDR.

If settlement fails to be made then a final hearing will be required. For more information on proceedings and court processes, contact our professional team. Our financial arrangement solicitors will help you determine the best options available to you and your family, providing supportive, knowledgeable assistance when you need it most. 

Child Arrangement

Child matters are often the most unsettling aspects of divorce, particularly if the separation wasn’t amicable. When parents can’t reach a mutual agreement, one or both parties can apply to the court for a child arrangements order. The order details where and with whom a child resides, contact with the non-resident parent, and other matters pertaining to the child’s welfare. 

Child arrangements can be particularly upsetting, our family law team understands this and works tirelessly on your behalf to ensure the needs of any child in your case are met. Our expert team is well equipped to liaise on your behalf and has a wealth of experience working with other family law teams, social services, family courts, and barristers. 

Ideally, parties agree on a suitable child arrangement between them both without pursuing the route of court, below we detail the stages prior to resorting to court to implement decisions on your behalf. 

Making a parenting plan – If the parents reach an agreement

If both parties agree to arrangements for your children after separation, you can consider making a parenting plan. This is a written document that identifies what you have agreed. 

The parenting plan prioritises your children and avoids any conflict or disputes between parties

The plan can be as detailed or concise as you like. We suggest beginning with subjects you definitely agree upon before moving on to more complicated issues. ng evolves. 

The parenting plans should only include information about matters concerning your children. It should detail which child a parent will reside with, how contact will work, child maintenance, contact with the wider family, and how you might deal with issues to do with your children like holidays, illness, and education.

You don’t need to have determined everything at once—you can continually update the plan as things arise.

If this is something you would like to explore further but require external support to facilitate the process, mediation would be the next route we’d encourage. Mediation is also a consideration even if a parenting plan is not suitable for your circumstances. 

Mediation – If the parents cannot agree

Reaching a mutual agreement with your ex-partner regarding your children’s care can be frustrating and when the situation becomes untenable, you must attend mediation. By law, you can’t apply for a child arrangements order without at least an attempt at mediation. There are exceptions to this, such as cases of domestic violence and domestic abuse. 

Mediation is often a faster, more cost-effective route to solving disputes and if successful, can provide you with more control over the decisions made about your children. The other benefit of mediation is that it encourages better communication with you and your ex-partner in the future too. At Farani Taylor, our family law team has trusted mediators that we recommend and regularly work with, ensuring the best chances of success for reaching a resolution with your ex-partner.

Mediation is voluntary and either party can choose to end it at any time. A mediator may also choose to close the process if they believe the parents aren’t committed or the service isn’t productive in their circumstance. The next step in the event of mediation failing is applying to the court for a child arrangement order.

Child Arrangement Order – If the parents cannot reach agreements through mediation

A child arrangement order occurs when other methods of establishing an arrangement have been explored and have failed. Some people opt to go straight to court rather than pursuing mediation and parental plans, particularly if there have been incidents of domestic violence or the relationship is simply untenable.

The Child Arrangement Order will detail where your children live and the contact arrangements for the non-resident parent, usually remaining in place until a child is 18 years of age. At Farani Taylor solicitors, we will support you through this process, ensuring the very best outcome for you and your children. We work with external agencies to ensure we deliver a holistic service to our clients, supporting and advising on every facet of this emotional process. Contact us today and let us examine your options. All consultations are confidential and free of charge, with no obligation to instruct us as your solicitors. 

Applying to the court The involved process

Here is a brief overview of the process of applying to court:

Application Process For Child Arrangement Order

STEP1. Submit your application to the court and serve papers to the other parent:

Once your documents are submitted to the court, the court issues the application, sending a copy to CAFCASS ( Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). We serve a copy of the issued papers to the other parent. 

STEP2. The other parent acknowledges and submits their paperwork:

The other parent has 14 days to state they have received the documents served and is required to fill in and submit their response form.

STEP3. CAFCASS carries out safeguarding checks: 

CAFCASS carries out checks on both parties, including with the police and social services. They may also contact the children’s schools if applicable to acquire further context for your case.

STEP4. First hearing dispute resolution appointment at court: 

This is the preliminary hearing of your court application. A CAFCASS officer will be in attendance to provide further guidance and advice. If you are unable to mutually agree or there are safeguarding issues, which need to be investigated, the court makes decisions and suggestions as to how your case should proceed. 

This process may require further hearings, statements or reports to be made and investigated by CAFCASS or social services, depending on what the issues or allegations are. No two cases are the same and how long your case takes depends entirely on its complexities. It is always advisable to receive legal advice, particularly with child arrangement matters. These cases can be complex and a solicitor can detail and highlight and details you need to be aware of. 

Child Maintenance

After a divorce, dissolution, or separation, it is vital to ensure that any children from that relationship are provided for. This frequently comes in the form of child maintenance, which is paid from one party to the other. Various things depend on how much you can expect to pay or receive, but the court’s priority is always the welfare of the child.

If you are unable to agree on arrangements for child maintenance with your former partner, you can make an application for child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). This is a government-run service to arrange and collect child maintenance from non-resident parents.

For any advice on Family Law or issues surrounding Financial Arrangements or Child Maintenance, please contact the Family Law department on 0207 242 1666.

Farani Taylor Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Find the most suitable, London based Solicitors for financial settlement support near you

Call us today on 0207 242 1666 to book a free initial consultation or contact us for more information.

How much will I receive (ask for) in the financial settlement?
Open How much will I receive (ask for) in the financial settlement?

How much child maintenance you’ll receive depends on many factors. The age of the child or children in your care, if they are in full-time education, yours and their lifestyle, and of course, the income and lifestyle of your ex-partner. Seeking the support of an expert family law solicitor would be beneficial when looking at child maintenance options. There are many ways in which income can be hidden to manipulate the outcome of a decision and if you believe your ex-partner is being dishonest about their income, a solicitor can investigate this further on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair final settlement for you and your children.

Does the reason for the divorce affect how the financial settlement is being implemented?
Open Does the reason for the divorce affect how the financial settlement is being implemented?

Very seldomly. Generally speaking, financial settlements are decided fairly, always giving priority to the welfare and needs of any children. A common misconception is that adultery will impact a financial settlement. This is not true. Behaviour may affect a case if children are involved but overall, the settlement will be decided by what is fair for both parties.

What if I moved out of the family home before we are divorced?
Open What if I moved out of the family home before we are divorced?

Your rights remain the same whether you are living on the property or not. If you still have concerns please contact Farani Taylor solicitors for a free consultation. 

How can I protect my maintenance payments in case my ex-partner dies?
Open How can I protect my maintenance payments in case my ex-partner dies?

A life insurance policy can cover this. As part of a financial settlement, you can stipulate this, negotiating that your ex-partner pays premiums on their policy to ensure maintenance payments continue until your children are adults. We do not offer financial advice and therefore you would need to seek the support of a financial adviser to arrange the cover.

During the process of a divorce, who should pay the legal fees?
Open During the process of a divorce, who should pay the legal fees?

While negotiating a financial settlement in the UK, you and your ex-partner are responsible for paying your own legal fees. As part of the settlement, however, you can negotiate that the other should pay part or all your legal fees and vice versa.

Legal costs can be expensive and the best way to avoid large legal sums is to mutually agree as much as possible without the need for legal support.

Do divorce settlements have to be approved by the court?
Open Do divorce settlements have to be approved by the court?

A financial settlement doesn’t have to be approved by the court, however, unless a consent order is in place, either party can change their minds at any point. In order to make your negotiations legally binding, you must get your financial settlement approved by the court. 

For further information on the financial settlement, please contact our Family Law solicitors in London on 0207 242 1666.

Key Contacts

If you are looking for help and guidance or have a question relating to Financial Settlement, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 7242 1666.