LEGAL EAGLE: The division of assets when a couple are getting divorced

I have recently separated from my husband and we are currently going through divorce proceedings.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:00 am
financial disclosure includes both parties mutually exchanging documents relating to their financial position i.e. bank statements, details of any significant assets such as property, and details of any debt.

I’m uncertain as to whether my husband has any savings or assets, however I simply want to separate and do not wish to make any financial claims. I’ve been informed by a friend that once I am divorced, I am not necessarily financially separated from my husband. Is this true and is there any way I can separate from my husband financially too?

When you married your husband, a financial bond was established. This means that assets, regardless of whether they are held in your sole name or your husband’s sole name, may become ‘matrimonial assets’. When dealing with divorce, it is usual for parties to consider the division of those ‘matrimonial assets’. The starting point for the Court is a 50/50 split, however the Court may depart from this after considering a number of factors, such as the needs of the parties and the length of the marriage. These factors are listed in full at section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act.

Before considering any applications to the Court, we would recommend the process of financial disclosure. This includes both parties mutually exchanging documents relating to their financial position i.e. bank statements, details of any significant assets such as property, and details of any debt. This information is then used to inform the negotiations regarding the division of the assets. The ultimate aim is for the division of the assets to be negotiated and detailed within a Consent Order, including a ‘Clean Break’ provision. A Clean Break Order essentially severs all financial ties between the parties and prohibits any future financial claims being made against the other’s assets. Without a Clean Break Order, you may be in a position where your husband could pursue financial claims against any assets you obtain in the future.

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We would always recommend the process of financial disclosure, however if you are certain you do not wish to pursue any claims, you could consider a straight forward Clean Break Order which, once granted, would restrict any future claims being made in relation to the matrimonial assets.

If you require any further advice in relation to divorce and finances, we have a specialist Family Team here at Ben Hoare Bell with expertise in this area who would be more than willing to assist.

Should you wish to obtain further advice, please contact Ben Hoare Bell LLP on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.