Divorce and Financial Arrangements
The breakdown of a marriage or a civil partnership is never an easy time and inevitably leads to distress for all involved. At Jackson West we specialise in providing cost-effective advice tailored to your individual situation in a calm and constructive manner designed to help you understand your options and help you choose the legal route that is right for you.
At your initial appointment a member of our experienced team will take detailed information about your personal circumstances. We will use this information to give you strategic advice aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family. We will advise you as to possible options for settlement and tell you what further information is needed from both parties in order to achieve this.
Our specialist Divorce and Finance team will work together with you to achieve the best outcome. We have a wide-range of experience in acting for clients including business people; farmers; members of the Armed Forces; doctors; professionals such as lawyers and accountants. We are used to acting in cases involving overseas and / or hidden assets and cases involving substantial wealth.
Armed Forces / Police divorce
It is very important for members of the Armed Forces and the Police to get specialist advice if they are contemplating divorce. This is particularly important when there are pension assets involved. Incorrect advice can lead to pension sharing orders being made which favour one party over another.
Kate Scammell has joined us from a firm in Hampshire where she specialised in providing advice to Armed Forces and Police Personnel on a regular basis. She has a depth of experience in providing key advice in respect of pension sharing on divorce.
If you require further advice in respect of this specialist area do not hesitate to e-mail or call and ask to speak to Kate. If necessary we can provide appointments by SKYPE or telephone.
Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
In February 2014 the Office for National Statistics reported that forty two percent of marriages will end in divorce. Divorce can be extremely difficult for all involved and disputes about financial matters can increase acrimony.
A pre or post nuptial agreement is certainly not romantic; it does however offer the following benefits:
- If one of the spouses is bringing wealth into the marriage, it can offer that party protection.
- It can safeguard future inheritance.
- It can provide certainty if the marriage does break down.
- It can allow couples who wish to keep their financial affairs separate to marry in the comfort that they have financial autonomy.
- Whilst not legally binding, the landmark case of Radmacher means that the Court is likely to uphold such agreement providing certain criteria are met.
If you wish to discuss such an agreement further, please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial discussion in confidence.
Increasingly couples are choosing to live together for extended periods of time rather than marrying. The longer the relationship the more likely it is that a couple will be linked financially, often buying a house together and combining financial resources in other ways.
The law for cohabiting couples is not straightforward. Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as ‘common law marriage’ and in fact, cohabitants are faced with civil rather than family law remedies.
It is important when buying a property to consider carefully the way in which the property is owned and to ensure that this reflects your respective financial contributions.
We can provide advice prior to or during a couple's cohabiting relationship and can draw up a Cohabitation Agreement which sets out what would happen if the relationship broke down. This provides certainty to both parties.
If your relationship has already broken down we can provide specialist advice about the remedies available to you.
Financial Provision for Children, Schedule One, Children Act 1989
If a married couple separate, financial provision for their children is dealt with as part of an overall financial settlement. If however the parties have not been married, it is possible to apply to the Court for financial support for children under the provisions of Schedule One of the Children Act 1989.
Under Schedule One the Court can order maintenance payments in addition to the statutory child support and payment of capital, generally to buy a house or to meet other specific expenses, for example school fees. Schedule One can be particularly useful when the child’s non-resident parent has substantial wealth and the child’s resident parent is less well off.
International Marital Breakdown
We live in the age of the international family. People travel for work, they may meet a future spouse from a different country, the family may move to different countries to live during the course of their marriage.
If a marriage breaks down and the parties to the marriage have connections to more than one country, it is important to take urgent advice in the relevant jurisdictions to determine which country is best placed to deal with divorce.
Divorce law and consequent financial provision in each jurisdiction may be very different. Divorce in one country may result in very different financial outcome to another. Timing in terms of who starts a divorce in which country can be key and sometimes speed is of the essence.
International Movement of Children
As families move between jurisdictions, children will move with their parents. If there is parental conflict however this can result in disputes about arrangements for children.
If a child is:
- at risk of being removed from this jurisdiction
- has or is suspected to have been taken from this jurisdiction
- has been taken from this jurisdiction with your permission for the purposes of a trip abroad but has not been returned.
- has been brought into this jurisdiction from another country without your permission.
It is important to take legal action quickly. If any of the above applies to you, please ring us urgently and we will provide you with specialist advice. If out of hours please ring 07867 361661.
If you wish to relocate to a foreign country with your children and this is opposed by their non-resident parent, you will need the Court’s permission to move. We are able to provide specialist advice in how to structure such applications so as to increase your chances of success.
Financial Relief After Overseas Divorce
Divorce laws and financial provision outside of England and Wales will vary country by country. We have experience of clients who have been divorced in foreign jurisdictions where the financial provision made for them is far lower than they would have received had they divorced in England and Wales, so much so that the financial award has seemed manifestly unfair.
In limited circumstances, if a couple has substantial connections to this jurisdiction, it is possible to make an application to the High Court in England for financial relief after an overseas divorce to try and address the perceived unfairness of the foreign award.
This remedy can also be useful when dealing with pension schemes based in England and Wales. Often foreign Courts do not have jurisdiction to make orders in respect of such schemes and if the divorce has taken place overseas an application can be made to deal with the pension in this jurisdiction.