When a couple separates, or gets divorced, they need to discuss and reach an agreement on a fair way to split up their property, pensions, savings and other financial assets/debts. For some amicable couples this is easy to do, for others it can be a difficult, slow and costly exercise.
Wikivorce can assist you reach a financial settlement whatever your circumstances.
There are several approaches to sorting out finances, including : doing it yourself, using traditional solicitors, using collaborative solicitors, attending mediation, using an arbitration service, or going to court and having a family court judge make a decision on what is fair.
This guide is intended to help you understand the overall process, and to work out which of the available legal services will help you to reach an agreement.
"We have been retained by Mrs Smith to represent her in the matter of a fair financial settlement in connection with your ongoing divorce proceedings. We would kindly request that you 1) provide a full and frank financial disclosure by completing and returning the enclosed Form E, and providing the following attachments: 12 months statements for any bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. We also require a copy of your P60 from last year, and a pension valuation letter from your pension provider. We will provide you with the same. We require this information so that our client can 2) obtain legal advice on what she is entitled to as a settlement upon divorce. Once disclosure is complete, and legal advice has been provided, we suggest that you consider attending a local mediation service, where you and our client can 3) negotiate over the finances and hopefully reach an agreement. Once a deal has been agreed we will 4) draft a legally binding agreement document known as a Consent Order, which we will then send to the family court to be approved by a Judge. We expect a response to this letter within the next 14 days. If we do not recieve a response we may be forced to take this matter to court, which could lead to you being liable for considerable legal costs."
We have underlined and numbered, from 1 to 4, the key steps in this example solicitor's proposed plan.