Within divorce proceedings or dissolution of a civil partnership the parties are entitled to make claims for financial assistance as a result of the marriage breakdown. Claims arising out of a divorce are dealt with under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 whilst claims arising from dissolution are addressed in the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

As long as you have not re-married either party can make a financial claim against the other for income and capital, which also includes property and pension provision.

There are various ways of dealing with the settlement of financial matters. Some parties are able to communicate effectively with each other and negotiate a settlement that they are both happy with. This settlement can then be drafted into a legal document called a consent order which is approved by the court within the divorce proceedings and is legally binding.

Unfortunately not all financial settlements are amicable and some may require the assistance of a solicitor to negotiate on their behalf. In this situation the parties are asked to undertake voluntary disclosure of their financial positions to enable a settlement to be negotiated. If this is not forthcoming from either party then an application to the court may have to be made. This results in the court directing matters by way of issuing a strict timetable for matters to progress and hopefully reach a conclusion as quickly as possible.

The court has the power to make various orders in relation to parties’ financial settlement. The more common ones of these are orders relating to income, capital, property and pension provisions. When dealing with a party’s claim the court has criteria that it must follow to ensure that the settlement is a fair and reasonable one. If there are children of the relationship then the child’s needs are paramount.

Financial settlements within divorce are very important as they stipulate how the parties will live in the future. Therefore it is extremely important that you receive the expert legal advice.

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