Settling the finances between yourself and your partner is separate to the divorce proceedings, although it is a good idea for both to happen at the same time. If you can’t come to an agreement on finances, then you can make an application to the Family Law Court to deal with a financial settlement. If you do reach an agreement, your divorce Solicitor can draft a Consent Order for you. This document needs to be signed by both parties and it can then be sent to the Court to be approved. This can happen any time after the Decree Nisi is pronounced, and once it is approved by the court, it becomes legally binding.
If you are considering a financial settlement it is important to obtain professional legal advice before agreeing anything. When deciding upon financial arrangements, the court will aim to reach a fair outcome based upon reasonable needs. The court will consider all circumstances including:
- Welfare of any children under the age of 18
- Reasonable earning capacity, property and financial resources of the husband and wife
- Financial needs of the husband and wife
- The family's standard of living before the breakdown of the marriage
- Any physical or mental disabilities of the husband or wife
- The duration of the marriage and the ages of the husband and wife
- Contribution from the husband and wife, including looking after the home and caring for the family
As your circumstances change, you should also give thought to changing your will. Click here or contact us to request your free guide to planning your will.
If one spouse earns substantially less than the other, they may be able to apply for spousal maintenance. The amount of maintenance will depend on the amount of income and each party’s reasonable needs. A 'clean break' settlement capitalises maintenance payments so that the lower earning party receives a greater share of the capital assets.
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Last Updated: Thursday 25th April 2019
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