The court will consider the savings and investments that you each own and may decide that one of you should pay a lump sum from your savings to the other. This can be in one go or a series of payments over time.
Whether a lump sum is needed and how much should be paid will depend on the other orders that the court makes, for example who is keeping the family home and how other assets are being distributed.
If you have accounts and investments in joint names they will need to be transferred into one of your sole names. To avoid tax charges, it is often important to make such transfers within set time periods. Consider getting help from a tax adviser, accountant or independent financial advisor - see Useful links.
Investment values can change, and you will need to ask each provider for an up-to-date statement or valuation. If you own shares in companies listed on a stock exchange, you can check their values online or in the financial papers. Check whether there are any penalties (including tax) for cashing in your investments. If there are, you might be able to structure the overall settlement so that you don't have to cash them in.
If you have life insurance policies, assurance policies or health insurance policies, you should check with the provider to see if you would receive any money if they were cashed in now. These policies will also need to be dealt with in the overall settlement.
Debts and other liabilities
Financial resources also include debts and other liabilities and these will need to be divided between you too. Account will need to be taken of debts in an overall settlement even if they are in any one of your names. If you have joint overdrafts or credit cards, you are each liable to repay the full amount and, if your spouse or civil partner runs up debts on joint accounts, this will affect your credit rating even after you have separated. If your partner's spending is a concern, speak to your bank or solicitor - see Money matters – financial problems.