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Going through the divorce process is often difficult and complex, especially when it comes to agreeing on how to divide up finances. Thankfully, our Divorce and Finance Solicitors are well-versed in helping clients navigate this area of the law and have an excellent track record when it comes to obtaining favourable divorce financial settlements.

At Butcher & Barlow, we are highly skilled at helping clients in coming to an agreement which distributes finances in a way that meets their needs and those of their children, while keeping conflict to a minimum. In most cases, it is possible to reach a settlement through constructive negotiation, but where a more robust approach is needed, we are ready to fight your corner.

If you are unsure of your financial rights in divorce, we will give you clear answers in plain English. Where you need help preparing for mediation or other collaborative approaches, we can advise on your negotiating strategy. And if court proceedings are required, we will be by your side every step of the way, ensuring your case is strongly presented.

Whatever your circumstances, our Divorce Financial Settlement Solicitors have the decades of experience and high level expertise needed to guide you to the best possible outcome.

Have a question? Please see our divorce and finance FAQs or get in touch.

Our experts can help you with matters including:

  • Understanding your financial rights on divorce
  • Agreeing the division of finances within a divorce settlement
  • Applying to a court to decide the division of finances with a Financial Arrangements Order
  • Urgent advice on financial issues arising on a separation

Reasons to choose Butcher & Barlow for divorce financial advice and support

  • Free initial assessment for most family law issues
  • Legal aid available for qualifying cases
  • An experienced Family team including members and accredited specialists of leading associations, such as the Law Society’s Children and Advanced Family Law Panel, as well as family law network Resolution
  • Branches throughout Cheshire and Manchester, offering expertise on your doorstep

Contact our Divorce and Finance Solicitors in the North West of England

If you need help with a divorce financial settlement, please contact us at Butcher & Barlow.

You can call us on +44 (0)161 797 5650 or email enquiries@butcher-barlow.co.uk.

What our clients say about us

“Would highly recommend Butcher & Barlow. Professional, legal knowledge second to none and clear precise advice. Excellent all round.”

“At a very stressful time they represented us in a family matter. Throughout the whole proceedings they were completely professional, kept us informed at every stage and supported us on the lead up to and throughout the court proceedings. All staff involved with our case were friendly, courteous and respectful.” 

Get in touch with our Divorce & Finance Solicitors in the North West of England

To discuss the division of finances for your divorce and access specialist legal support, please contact us at Butcher & Barlow.

You can call us on +44 (0)161 797 5650 or email enquiries@butcher-barlow.co.uk.

Frequently asked questions about divorce and finances

Contrary to popular belief, a 50:50 split of matrimonial assets is not an automatic rule in divorce settlements. While it may serve as a baseline for a financial settlement on divorce in the UK, the court’s main objective is to ensure a fair division of assets. This means that an equal distribution may not always be the outcome, depending on the circumstances.

Whether the court is involved in deciding the outcome of your divorce financial settlement, or you are negotiating between yourselves, it is crucial to consider the factors outlined in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

These factors serve as a checklist to guide the determination of a fair and equitable division of assets and, ultimately, should play a key role in deciding how a divorce settlement is calculated.

The factors outlined in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 are:

  • Income and Earning Capacity: The court examines the income and potential earning capacity of both parties, considering their present financial resources and future prospects.
  • Financial Needs and Responsibilities: The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of each party are taken into account, ensuring that both individuals can maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce.
  • Standard of Living: The lifestyle enjoyed by the couple during the marriage is considered, as it may influence the division of assets and support arrangements.
  • Age and Duration of the Marriage: The age of the parties and the length of the marriage are factors that contribute to the court’s decision. Longer marriages and older parties may have different considerations when it comes to asset division and support.
  • Financial needs of children: the court will consider the financial needs of any children involved, as well as their physical and educational needs.
  • Mental and Physical Disabilities: If either party has mental or physical disabilities, the court takes this into account to ensure appropriate provisions are made to support their unique needs.
  • Contributions to the Family: The contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family, both past and future, are considered. This includes financial contributions, homemaking, childcare and any sacrifices made for the well-being of the family.
  • The conduct of each party: if required, the conduct of both parties can be taken into account, however this is normally only under exceptional circumstances.
  • Loss of Benefits: The value of any benefits that a party will lose due to the dissolution of the marriage, such as pensions, is taken into account to ensure fair compensation or arrangements are made.

If you are wondering ‘Who gets what in a divorce settlement?’ and would like some expert guidance on the likely outcome, our Divorce Financial Settlement Solicitors will be happy to advise.

Whilst it is possible to divorce a spouse without obtaining a divorce financial settlement agreement, it is not recommended This is because if you do not address finances when you separate, the right of spouses to bring financial claims can continue long into the future, whilst becoming more complicated as things change over time. Divorcing couples are nearly always encouraged to reach a financial settlement either through alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation or with the aid of a third-party mediator.

If the parties are not able to reach an agreement privately, they have the option of going to court. The court has the authority to make decisions regarding financial matters and will consider each partner’s financial and personal circumstances before making their decision, however, this route can often take much longer and incur higher legal fees.

Whilst there can potentially be some exceptional circumstances in which a financial settlement is not required, this is generally not the case. It is highly recommended that you obtain a formal financial settlement as part of your divorce process. In doing so, you will ensure the fair division of assets and providing a clean break, as well as clarity and stability for yourself and your ex-partner going forward.

There are several options available when splitting pensions during a divorce:

Pension Offsetting

One of the most common strategies for handling pensions during divorce. It entails one spouse giving up their claim to the other’s pension in exchange for a larger share of other shared assets in the settlement. This approach is highly regarded by separating couples as it allows for a clean break, eliminating financial ties and streamlining the process.

Pension Sharing Orders

Another method of dividing pensions during a divorce, this involves transferring a percentage of one spouse’s pension benefits to the other spouse. This can be done by setting up a new pension or adding to an existing one.

Pension Attachment Orders

On the other hand, Pension Attachment Orders attach a portion of one spouse’s pension payments to the other. Unlike pension sharing, the receiving spouse does not have a separate pension but receives a percentage of their ex-spouse’s pension each time it is paid out. This method is less common today due to its inflexibility and the reliance it places on the ex-spouse’s pension for support.

Our Solicitors will be happy to explain every aspect of pension division to you in detail, so you are clear of your entitlements before deciding whether to proceed with your divorce.

Many people do not realise that their former spouse may be able to make a financial claim against them, even many years after they separate. To avoid this, it is important to apply for a Clean Break Order from a court, which is often done in tandem with applying for a Consent Order to make a voluntary settlement legally binding.

A divorce financial settlement underpinned by a Clean Break Order is sometimes referred to as a ‘clean break divorce settlement’. Once a Clean Break Order is in place, your former spouse will have no legal right to make a financial claim against you in future.

The simple answer is, no, the issue of “fault” should have no impact on the divorce settlement. While it can be tempting to want a better settlement where you feel the divorce was your spouse’s fault, the important thing is to focus on your needs and the needs of any children. This can give you the best chance of securing a fair settlement as quickly and with as little stress as possible.

Caroline Cockill-Guy

Caroline Cockill-Guy

Partner

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an image of Angela Gleave, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Angela Gleave

Partner

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Alex Williams

Associate

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