What happens to my finances and assets after divorce?

When you go through a divorce or end a civil partnership, you will both need to agree on how your assets will be divided, assuming a pre-nuptial agreement has not been made. Assets include things such as:

You may be able to avoid having to go to court if you are able to decide between yourselves how your assets will be split. In saying this, it is a good idea to ensure that you make the agreement legally binding by applying for a Consent Order (this costs £53), otherwise, the other party could come back later down the line and claim that an agreement was not made. 

In a lot of cases, it may be hard to agree on how to divide finances, perhaps because they are too complicated or because there is conflict in the relationship and one party may feel they deserve more than the other.

In this case, the court can decide on how best to split your assets by making a Financial Order. Going to the court is the last resort for separated couples and an application to the court cannot be made unless you have attended a meeting about mediation to try and resolve the issues outside of court first. Sessions cost approximately £120, but the fee depends on where you live. In some situations, such as if there has been domestic abuse, this may not be required. 

What is a Financial Order?

Once the court is involved, you will need to apply for a Financial Order (form E) which consists of completing a form and disclosing information such as whether you have any children, the details surrounding why you are divorcing, a breakdown of your finances, and any debts and an estimate of your future living costs. 

After the application is processed, there will be a short hearing with the judge to go through the application. Following this, a financial dispute resolution meeting will be set up to help both parties come to an agreement without having to go to a final hearing. If this is not possible, a final hearing will be arranged where a judge will decide how your assets can be divided. 

How does the court divide the assets?

The judge will consider a number of factors when splitting assets in a divorce or dissolution and these are referred to in Section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 including:

However, first and foremost, the judge will make arrangements for any children involved by looking at the housing arrangements and child maintenance. After this, the judge will try to split the assets as fairly as possible in order to meet the needs of both parties and of any children involved. 

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At GloverPriest, we understand navigating the law can be a difficult task to take on alone. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to help promote information for everyone to use.

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