Divorce and Financial Planning | Legal Aid Changes

Over the last couple of months I have commented a lot about the issues surrounding the costs of  Divorce and the related financial planning that needs to go along with it and I am not going to repeat any of that here.

The main problem as I see it is this – the legal profession has for far to0 long been avoiding   the whole truth about Divorce and Finances and about how any likely settlement is ‘L-I-K-E-L-Y’ to be arranged and in my extensive experience of these matters, seem to want to drag things out. I get that all of the legal profession needs to eat, but not at your expense.

If you are about to Divorce or Separate and are considering your options here is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth about your Divorce based on real world application, knowledge and experience.

First some practical pointers.

Don’t take advice from family or friends that have or are divorcing. Their situation is not the same as yours so no settlement will end up the same. There may be some similarities  just not the same.

Don’t ever take advice from ‘the fat bloke down the Pub’ he ended up with nothing because he would not leave the Pub.

Don’t read books on the subject, there are as many opinions as books.

Do realise that there is no compensation for the end of a marriage, never has been never will be. Of course you want your partner skinned alive, beaten to within an inch of their sorry lives and left in deep ditch to die. Of course this may make sense but it’s not going to happen.  The issues of further financial settlements are complex and will depend on many factors – just because your mate at work got nothing does not mean you will suffer the same.

The law of the land (England and Wales) focuses on sharing the assets of the marriage and provision for your offspring and not much else (there is some interesting cases from 2008 that may have an impact here but let’s be honest… probably not).

Do realise that the person you fell in love with, slept with, got drunk with, had children with is still the same person. Having shared so much it’s hard to believe that you can’t communicate with them now you have split. You can either talk or pay someone to talk for you. Worse still you could end up in mediation at £130 per hour and resolve the same things you could resolve over a nice meal and a bottle or two of fine wine (obviously without encouraging you to drink).

Do swop emails rather than spending a hourly rate on a  Solicitor in order to settle stuff, they know nothing about your personal situation and will happily charge to settle  ownership of Ironing Boards (yes I have seen that) and other minor issues.

Do take specialist advice and guidance in relation to business assets and pensions (Solicitors/Barristers are not qualified to answer questions) – and get advice before you start to think about a Divorce or Separation.

Why before? Because it saves a lot of heartache later on, and will force you to look at your finances carefully. Divorce takes planning. 

Do make sure you engage a Solicitor at the very last minute to finalise stuff that you really can’t agree on and only then get stuff rubber stamped.

Do take advice from your local County Court who are paid public servants and will help you where they can.

Do make sure you agree on a fixed cost for all work. 

Of course there are more points to consider and I will be happy to provide guidance where I can, just get in touch.