Divorce and Finances

Dealing with the uncertainty surrounding splitting finances in divorce is often one of the hardest aspects. It can be worrying not to know what you are entitled to and what you may receive when your assets are split.

At Heringtons, we understand how difficult the financial aspect of divorce is, and we will do all we can to ensure that you receive a fair settlement. We can advise you as to what you may be entitled to and discuss your options with you.

Our family law team have in-depth experience across a full range of financial issues, including:

  • What happens to the family home
  • Divorce and pensions
  • Savings and investments
  • Divorce and business assets
  • Divorce and international assets
  • Inheritances
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Advising on and negotiating divorce financial settlements

We have particular expertise in dealing with complicated financial and matrimonial situations. It is important to speak to an expert divorce finance lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are safeguarded. Your financial settlement will generally be binding for good, so it is essential to ensure that you receive the right assets to enable you to face the future with certainty and security.

We are frequently able to reach an agreement over financial matters in divorce without the need for a court hearing. We will negotiate on your behalf to try and find an acceptable resolution. We can also support you through mediation where necessary. If litigation is necessary, we will prepare the strongest possible case on your behalf and ensure that you have expert representation in court.

Get in touch with our divorce and finances solicitors in East Sussex

Our clients come to us from across East Sussex, including Rother and Wealden, for our leading reputation in family law.

For advice about divorce finances or any other family law matters, contact your local Heringtons office in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Hastings or Rye.

Or fill in our online enquiry form, and we will be in touch shortly.

For more information regarding our services, see Divorce and Separation.

Our divorce financial advice fees

We always do all we can to keep our costs to a minimum. We will provide you with an estimate of the likely fees before we start work, and we will review this at every step of the way so that you have certainty throughout as to the costs involved.

We also offer fixed fee divorce services as well as alternative funding options, including deferred fee agreements where appropriate.

Divorce and finances FAQs

How are finances split in divorce?

The starting point for the court is to consider a 50/50 split of assets. However, where one party is in a weaker financial position, for example, because they have given up their career to care for children, this will be taken into account, and they may receive a larger share of the available assets.

The needs of any children will also be prioritised.

In making its decision, the court will take all of the circumstances of the case into account, including the following points:

  • The welfare of children
  • The financial needs and responsibilities of the parties, including those arising in the foreseeable future
  • The parties’ income, ability to earn and financial position
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The parties’ ages
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Any disabilities the parties may have
  • Contributions made to the family, including looking after the home and raising children
  • Any other relevant information

What assets am I entitled to in a divorce?

In deciding what assets you will receive, the court will consider both your needs and those of any children. This could mean that if you are the primary carer for children, you might receive the family home while your children’s other parent could be given other assets by way of compensation, such as a larger share of savings or pensions.

Assets are classed as matrimonial and non-matrimonial. Matrimonial assets are those acquired during your marriage, while non-matrimonial assets were acquired prior to the marriage or after divorce.

Most assets are matrimonial, including the family home, savings and pensions. These are considered to be joint assets. Non-matrimonial assets include inherited money, property owned before the marriage and family businesses.

If you have non-matrimonial assets, you can ask for them to be excluded from the financial settlement, however where the court believes that they need to be included so that your spouse and children have adequate financial provision, they may be taken into account and shared.

How do I protect myself financially in a divorce?

You should make yourself aware of all of the assets and liabilities that you have as a couple. It can be a good idea to monitor joint bank accounts and credit cards once you have decided to separate, to ensure that your spouse does not remove funds or run up debts.

Taking early legal advice is recommended to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. If you ask us to represent you, we will go through your assets with you and give you our recommendations.

It is worth remembering that if the court is asked to decide, it will try to divide assets fairly so that you have sufficient means for the future.

What happens to the family home in a divorce?

There are a number of options when it comes to the family home. If you do not have children, it could be sold, and the net sale proceeds shared between you and your spouse. Alternatively, one of you could buy out the other, taking out a mortgage if necessary.

If you have children, then the court will put their needs first and may order that the primary carer be given the property, with the other party having a larger share of other assets. Where there are insufficient other assets, an order could be made delaying the sale of the property until the youngest child reaches 18.

Are pensions included in divorce settlements?

A pension is taken into account when dealing with a divorce. They will need to be valued, and the court can make a number of different financial orders in respect of them. A common way of dealing with pensions is offsetting the value of a pension against another asset, such as the family home or an investment.

A pension attachment order allows the pensions trustees to pay part of one spouse’s pension to the other when they retire. The drawback of this is the receiving party will have to wait until their former spouse decides to retire before they receive anything.

A pension sharing order means that one spouse will be given a portion of the other’s pension, which will be invested separately for them. If a spouse has several pensions, the order can include all of them.

Are savings included when splitting finances in divorce?

Savings and investments are included when dividing assets in divorce, subject to whether they can be classed as non-matrimonial assets. If they were held by one party before the marriage, it might be possible to exclude them where there are sufficient assets available to adequately provide for the parties without them. Generally, however, savings will be classed as matrimonial assets and shared.

Do you need to go to court to separate finances in divorce?

It is often possible to agree to divorce settlements without the need to go to court. An experienced solicitor will be able to provide divorce financial advice and negotiate on your behalf to try and reach an agreement without a court hearing.

You can also consider mediation to help you and your partner resolve issues. This is generally faster and more cost-effective than litigation. Our family law solicitors have extensive experience in both negotiation and alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, and we are frequently able to deal with matters in this way.

Once a financial agreement has been made, this can be put before the court and sealed into a binding order.

Get in touch with our divorce and finances solicitors in East Sussex

For advice about divorce finances or any other family law matter, contact your local Heringtons office in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Hastings or Rye.

Or fill in our online enquiry form, and we will be in touch shortly.

For further information or to speak to one of our experts please call us on: