Financial Settlements

The breakdown of a relationship brings with it a catalogue of financial issues that need to be addressed, to produce a fair financial settlement.

It is deciding what is fair that is often the problem between two parties.  Generally, a solution is reached after a thorough assessment of all the financial assets, their origins, the earning capacity of each party, the length of the relationship and most significantly, the needs of any children.  Any solution needs to take into account preserving a home for the family and children, providing education for children and a fair division of pension rights and investments.  In working through this process our experienced team can help with the valuation and division of business assets (especially where one party is self-employed or runs their own business) while guiding you through the negotiation process every step of the way.

Ultimately, decisions about the division of assets and property are best made rationally between the parties by a process of negotiation with the expert advice of lawyers.  Both parties will retain the most control over financial agreements by reaching an agreement via mediation or by collaborative law as in both cases there is no need for intervention by the court.  If, however, a couple cannot reach an amicable agreement the case can be referred to the courts; and where child support issues are involved, the Child Support Agency (CSA) will decide a fair financial settlement.  Harris & Harris can offer realistic advice about what to expect from financial settlements made in court and can also advise you on reaching an agreement without the cost and stress of court proceedings using mediation or collaborative law.

Couples who want to separate rather than divorce immediately can record their financial settlement legally in a Separation Deed.  Courts generally uphold these if both parties have taken independent legal advice, are honest about their financial circumstances and if the division is fair.  Any less formal agreement is open to danger as either party could change their mind later and seek more, despite what was supposedly agreed in the initial negotiation.

We can offer assistance at every stage of the financial settlement process, though it is advisable to talk to us early so we can ensure you are aware of all of your options right form the start.  We judge every case individually and can develop a plan that will suit your personal aspirations and circumstances, ensuring the most straightforward path through negotiations and legalities.  Harris + Harris is one of a diminishing number of firms who hold a Legal Services Contract guaranteeing a superb standard of service at Legal Aid rates (subject to qualification).