If you are going through a divorce you will probably know that, as well as dealing with ending the marriage itself, you will need to finalise the financial side of things too. It may be daunting but here is a quick guide to help you start off the process:-
- Try to speak to your spouse about financial matters. If you can do so, and you are both open and honest about your personal and the joint finances, then you may well be able to reach an agreement.
- If you have tried this and you just can't agree things then consider going to Mediation to see whether an independent Mediator can help you agree things in a neutral environment.
- If this doesn't work see whether you can each find your own Collaborative Lawyers who will arrange a round table meeting to see if an agreement can be reached.
- It is important to receive some initial advice from a Solicitor at some stage to ensure that you have considered the whole picture and are not agreeing to less than you are entitled to or to something that you later regret. It may be that you speak to a Solicitor before you speak to your spouse or before Mediation. If you decide to use a Collaborative Lawyer then they will advise you before the meeting with your spouse.
- The most important financial step in any divorce is to ensure that you are fully informed of all financial circumstances. Make sure that you obtain documentation to provide to your spouse to prove your income, outgoings, liabilities, capital and pensions.
- Your spouse will also need to provide similar information to yourself and, if you can see actual documentary evidence of this, then it will help you feel that an open and honest picture of the situation has been provided. This documentation can be provided voluntarily between yourselves, within Mediation or via Solicitors.
- Once this information and documentation has been exchanged then you would be sensible to seek advice from a Solicitor as to what would be a fair and reasonable agreement.
- If an agreement can be reached within Mediation then a Memorandum of Understanding can be prepared and passed to your Solicitor. At that stage (or if an agreement is reached directly between you or by negotiations between Solicitors) then a Consent Order can be prepared setting our your agreement.
- Once this Consent Order is filed at Court and approved by a Judge then this is sealed and becomes legally binding upon you both.