Do I Need to Disclose My Assets in Divorce?

Maya Bhatiani Divorce and Family Law Solicitor
Author:
Maya Bhatiani
Senior Associate Solicitor, Family Law and Divorce
Date:
03/11/2020

Yes, you will need to provide full financial disclosure of all your assets in divorce. And that means even assets you consider to be just yours, for example if you own your own business.

Both parties in a divorce must be upfront about all of their assets as it’s the only way to make sure your divorce financial settlement is fair for everyone involved. But it is important to remember that just because you’re open about your assets, it doesn’t mean your former partner is entitled to everything.

You can decide between yourselves who should get what, and if you reach an agreement you can get a Consent Order to make it legally binding in England and Wales. One of our Divorce Solicitors can advise you and help you apply for a Consent Order.

If you can’t agree then a Divorce Solicitor can help you or if things go as far as Court Proceedings, a Judge will decide for you. It will generally work out cheaper to disclose all financial assets in the initial stages of you divorce, so that an agreement can be made in good time and you won’t have to pay extra in legal fees.

If you’re struggling to reach an agreement about your finances in divorce, we can help you. Get in touch with our Divorce Solicitors today.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Hiding Your Assets during Divorce

If you don’t voluntarily disclose all of your assets, your former partner could ask your Divorce Solicitor to intervene. If you still don’t disclose money or other assets then they could get a Court Order that will order you to disclose everything, or you will face Court sanctions of failing to do so.

If a Judge finds that you have been hiding away some of your assets, they could order you to pay a costs penalty, which may include paying a level of costs to the other party. Other downsides to not providing full financial disclosure include:

  • The divorce process will take longer
  • Your divorce will cost more because it has taken longer, so you will each need to pay more in Solicitor fees
  • It won’t give the Court a good impression of you, and they may make Costs Orders against you
  • If your ex finds that you have hidden assets even after your divorce, they could ask the Court to overturn any Financial Order you put in place

Being open and honest about your finances is the only fair way to handle money in divorce. We understand how difficult it is if you’re worried about losing out in your divorce, but our Divorce Solicitors will work with you to reach an agreement that both you and your ex will be happy with.

What Assets are Safe from Divorce?

There are some assets that aren’t likely to be affected by divorce, such as:

  • Inheritance
  • Property you owned before marriage
  • Gifts, e.g. if you parents bought you a car

But you will still need to tell your Divorce Solicitor about these financial assets and include them in your Form E (the form you submit to disclose your finances). You will also need to include:

  • Your earnings
  • Any savings you have, including investments and shares
  • Money you have in the bank, including in business accounts
  • Property, or mortgage statements if you are still paying the mortgage
  • Pensions
  • Any insurance policies you have taken out
  • Any liabilities you may have (loans/credit cards)
  • Anything else you think is relevant, e.g. a family pet

You should know that just because you tell your Solicitor what you own, it doesn’t mean your ex is entitled to take it all away from you, but it’s also important to remember that when you get married you usually share a proportion (or sometimes all) of your assets with your spouse. So you must both work together to be fair and reasonable when the marriage ends.

We know how stressful divorce can be, and it can be made even more difficult if you feel like you’re losing out on possessions you may have had for years. While your automatic response might be to protect what you have, it’s important to remember that your ex may be feeling the same way.

Some of our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors are members of Resolution which means we are experts at resolving conflicts between former partners.

If you tell us what you’re concerned about, such as if you’re worried about your ex taking your assets away from you, we can work with you to make sure you’re as happy as you can be with your financial situation after divorce. And we can even apply for a Financial Order on your behalf so that the agreement is legally binding.

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