The Financial Impact of a DIY Divorce
Getting a divorce in England and Wales has never been easier, as you can apply for the divorce petition online. Because of this, many people think that a DIY divorce is the quickest and cheapest option, but it can lead to complications further down the line which could cost you much more in the long run.
You might think that once you and your former partner divorce, you’ll cut all the financial ties between you. But the truth is that only a Financial Order can sever the financial ties of your marriage. Without a Financial Order, even years later, your former spouse could make a claim against your assets.
If you’re applying on your own, it’s hard to know which Financial Order you need. And it’s easy to forget to include certain assets that you didn’t know you were entitled to, for example your pensions.
As Divorce Law Experts, we can help you make all the right financial arrangements in your divorce. We have years of experience and will use this to make sure we leave no stone unturned in the divorce process.
Read about some of the DIY divorce disasters we’ve helped to untangle here.
How Do You Protect Yourself Financially in a Divorce?
Divorce can be an emotional time, and having to deal with finances can make the process even more stressful. While doing the divorce yourself may reduce the initial financial impact, you might end up paying out more in the long term if it isn’t done properly.
So it’s important to think realistically about your future finances. We can help you and your former partner come to a financial agreement to make sure you’re protected in the years to come. And for now, here are a few things you should do:
Speak to Your Partner
It’s important that you express any financial concerns you have to your partner. Even if things didn’t end on good terms, coming to a financial agreement will save you having to pay for someone to help resolve the conflict between you.
Often the longer a marriage is, the more assets you share. So things can get very complicated when dividing everything up, in particular with complex assets such as pensions or investments, which may need expert input. Hopefully your partner will understand this. It’s important to remember that there are two people involved in every divorce, and more if you have children.
So being open to communicating with your partner will make the entire divorce process quicker and cheaper.
Be Honest About What You Own
It’s important that you disclose all your assets in divorce. This means being open about everything you own and encouraging your former partner to do the same, as this is the only way to divide all of your assets fairly.
One risk of a DIY divorce is that it’s much easier for your former partner to hide away any assets that they don’t want to share. With our input, we can make sure you can avoid this.
When you get legal advice in a divorce, we can advise you on exactly what you’re entitled to. Our Divorce Lawyers have years of experience so we know what to look out for, especially if you’re worried your ex isn’t being honest with you.
Get a Financial Order
A Financial Order is a Court Order that sets out who gets what in a divorce.
Even if you and your partner agree on how things should be shared, a Financial Order makes your agreement legally binding. This means your partner, or anyone else in their life, can’t claim for any of your assets later down the line, including any claims against your Estate.
There are many different types of Financial Orders, such as:
- Consent Order
- Pension Sharing or Attachment Order
- Clean Break Order
- Maintenance Order
- Property Adjustment Order
- Lump Sum Order
- Variation of Settlement Order
Each of these have their own benefits so speaking to a Divorce Solicitor could make sure you come to the right agreement with your ex and get the clean break you deserve.
We offer a Fixed Fee Divorce and a Fixed Fee Consent Order, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay to finalise any financial arrangements you make. Get in touch with one of our Divorce Solicitors to discuss your options.
Are Assets Always Split 50/50 in Divorce?
Not always. One of the largest pitfalls of a DIY divorce is that often couples decide to split everything 50/50. But this isn’t always fair.
For example, if you stayed at home and raised the children while your partner went to work, they will have a larger pension than you, and you might be entitled to a portion of this pension. You could get a Pension Sharing Order to make sure that you get the pension you’re entitled to, even if you and your partner have been separated for a long time.
You might think that halving everything is the most equal way to divide assets, but equal shares may not always meet your needs.
It’s important to be fair when dividing assets in a divorce, but remember that equal does not always mean fair.
One of the benefits of getting legal advice in a divorce, is that a Divorce Solicitor can tell you what assets you’re entitled to depending on your circumstances. We are experts and will work our hardest to reduce the negative financial impacts of your divorce if this is something you’re concerned about.
We will work with you to make sure your financial ties with your partner are cut for good, and don’t come back to haunt you years later. And if you’re on a budget, let us know as we will be happy to discuss your options.
For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.