We will assist you in protecting your financial position and that of your children in divorce or dissolution proceedings. It is imperative that any children of the family are the paramount consideration.
We will work with you to keep matters outside of Court and resolve disputes in a non confrontational manner where possible. However, should Court proceedings be unavoidable we will provide strong representation, fighting to protect your financial interests at Court.
Child Maintenance / Child Support
The absent parent (non–resident parent) has an obligation to maintain the children. If you are unable to agree the amount that the absent parent is to contribute towards their maintenance, an application to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) (formerly the Child Support Agency (CSA)) can be made. Any agreement can be contained in a Consent Order agreed between the parties or in a Final Order in Court proceedings.
Here are some answers to questions you may have:
How long will it take?
It is very difficult to predict the length of financial proceedings as this will depend as to whether matters can be agreed outside of Court or proceed to a Final Hearing. You could be looking at timescales of between 8-12 months if matters proceed to a Final Hearing at Court.
Can matters be resolved without going to Court ?
It would be preferable if you and your partner are able to agree how the matrimonial or civil partnership assets are to be divided. If an agreement is reached, this can be recorded in a Separation Agreement, if there are no divorce or dissolution proceedings or a Consent Order if divorce or dissolution proceedings have been issued.
What is the difference between a Separation Agreement and Consent Order ?
A Separation Agreement allows you to document an agreement when you do not wish to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership immediately. However, it is a Contractual Agreement and may not be binding upon the Court or either party to dismiss financial claims, which would not provide financial certainty. A Consent Order can be entered into once divorce or dissolution proceedings have been issued. Once signed by the parties it can be made legally binding by the Court and resolve the financial matters between the parties without having to issue Court Proceedings.
What if we can’t agree?
If your partner refuses to co-operate or it is not otherwise possible to conclude an agreement, then it will be necessary to make an application at Court for a Financial Order within the divorce or dissolution proceedings. This is to enable the Court to determine how the matrimonial or civil partnership assets are to be divided.
There is an ongoing duty to disclose all relevant financial information and documents, failure to do so could result in any Financial Order, either agreed or determined by the Court being set aside or overturned in the future.
What will the Court consider?
If required, to decide how matrimonial or civil partnership assets are to be divided upon divorce, the starting point adopted by the Courts under English Law is to consider if an equal division will result in a fair outcome.
There may be an equal division of assets but a Judge will often divide the assets unequally having regard to the needs of the parties and the particular circumstances of the case. This may include orders determining who may remain in the family home, whether a lump sum payment should be made by one party to the other, required pension provision or maintenance for either party or the children.
At Stalwart Solicitors we provide pragmatic, practical advice with regards to how family financial matters should be resolved. Every case is different and we will ensure you are advised as to the number of options available and we will then act on your behalf.
How much will it cost?
Stalwart Solicitors charges at the hourly rate of £250 and disbursements for all work in relation to family financial matters. Please see our pricing page for further information on our fees.