Financial settlement in a divorce

Does the court need to be involved if you can agree a financial settlement

By Vanessa Lloyd Platt, Lloyd Platt & Co

Navigating the tumultuous waters of divorce or dissolution is never easy. Among the myriad of emotional and logistical challenges, sorting out financial matters can be one of the most complex and contentious aspects of the process. That’s where expert legal guidance from firms like Lloyd Platt & Co becomes invaluable.

As a divorce lawyer with over forty years’ experience, one of the most typical questions asked by clients is “why do I have to go to Court”. The main reasons are that the client believes that their partner will not make full and proper disclosure of assets, if there have been previous attempts at hiding assets or negotiations that have failed miserably, whether there has been duress brought to bear, whether one of the parties is acting in a narcissistic manner, and the list goes on…

Financial Considerations

In the throes of a divorce or dissolution, numerous financial considerations must be addressed, ranging from the division of assets and debts to ensuring financial support for oneself and any children involved. This is where Lloyd Platt & Co steps in, offering comprehensive support and advice to ensure a fair and equitable resolution for all parties involved.

One of the primary areas of focus in financial settlements is the division of assets. Whether its joint assets acquired during the marriage or individual assets brought into the union, determining how these will be split can often be a point of contention. Lloyd Platt & Co can provide expert guidance on how to navigate this process, ensuring that both parties’ financial needs and obligations are considered.

Reaching a fair financial settlement in a divorce

The role of a lawyer is to establish whether it is possible to reach a financial settlement without recourse to the court. There are many ways of achieving this if both parties have the will to do so and approach the matter with a view to making open, full, and honest disclosure.

Throughout divorce proceedings, our firm emphasises the importance of mutual agreement whenever possible. By facilitating negotiations between parties, Lloyd Platt & Co strives to reach amicable solutions that avoid protracted legal battles and minimise emotional distress.

One way of reaching a fair settlement is for the parties to enter into mediation with a qualified mediator. There will need to be full disclosure by the parties to work with that mediator to achieve an overall financial settlement which will meet the needs of both parties. If there is a mediated settlement, then the parties will take that settlement to their solicitors leaving them to draw up what is known as “Consent Orders” to embody the terms agreed.

The Consent Order will then be placed before the Court and in most cases stamped by the Judge, without the need for the parties to attend. After that time the parties can divide up their financial assets and commence payment of child maintenance and/or spousal maintenance in accordance with that divorce settlement. In those cases, there would be no need for a full-blown hearing in front of the Court or the attendant costs.

Similarly, agreements can be reached between solicitors after what is known as “voluntary disclosure” between the parties, where the solicitors will then proceed to draw up a consent order embodying the terms and lodge with the Court for stamping as above. Some clients choose to undertake Arbitration in Divorce, where the Arbitrator’s decision on the finances is final and there is no need to go to the Court.

Collaborative law is another process whereby both parties and lawyers sign up that they will never go to court and agree to negotiate the terms of a fair divorce settlement between solicitors and thereafter lodge the same with the court without the necessity of attendance.

There is also another process known as “Private FDRs”, whereby it can be agreed that the parties will appoint a Judge who they will pay, who will assess and help them reach a final settlement which will then be placed before the Court in a Consent Order.

Children in Divorce

We understand the importance of safeguarding the welfare of any children involved in the divorce process. Arrangements for children, including child support and custody agreements, are critical considerations that require careful negotiation and planning. Lloyd Platt & Co works diligently to advocate for the best interests of the children involved, helping to create arrangements that prioritise their well-being and stability.

Prenups and Postnups

In cases where couples have entered into prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements, our firm can provide guidance on how these agreements may impact the financial settlement process. While these agreements can streamline the division of assets, they must be carefully scrutinised to ensure they are fair and legally enforceable.

Contact Lloyd Platt & Co Today

In conclusion, if the parties are willing, there will be in some cases no need to involve the court at all other than by ratifying the financial agreement by way of a consent order. However, not all parties can agree matters simplistically or easily particularly where there have been complex finances in play, offshore accounts, property, pension sharing or complex businesses. In those cases, sometimes the assistance of forensic accountants and preliminary court hearings can still lead to an overall financial settlement.

With our expertise in family law and financial matters, we provide invaluable support and advice to help individuals navigate this challenging chapter in their lives with confidence and clarity. From negotiating financial settlements to securing final orders, our firm is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients, both now and in the future.

If you want legal advice or to discuss any aspect financial settlement in a divorce, please fill in our form below, call us on 0208 343 2998 or click to contact our divorce lawyers in London.

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