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Don't forget the money

View profile for Philip Hoddell
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The most recently published government statistics show that only 40% of all couples who get divorced actually sort out their finances. What are the risks that they are running here?

For the relevant period, 30,600 divorces were finalised but only 12,500 financial orders. Since the financial issues between a divorcing couple are only legally finalised when an order is granted, this means that over 18,000 people got divorced but can still make financial claims against the other. There are no time limits. 

Sometimes, it is thought that the family finances are modest so there is no point going to the cost of getting a ‘clean break’ from the courts. Case authority is quite clear though, just because it isn’t done at the time, if one person’s financial circumstances radically alters in the future, it is still open to their spouse to make a financial claim against them. 

Furthermore, if you get remarried, you lose nearly all ability to make a financial claim against your ex. 

A combination of these two factors means that even if you are getting divorced, it is important to take legal advice about your financial position to see whether you should be taking action there as well.

The government is keen to promote its new ‘no fault’ divorce online. We remain very concerned that the system doesn’t advise couples to get proper legal advice about their finances as part of the divorce. 

If this is something you are concerned about or you require further information, please contact Philip Hoddell from our Divorce and Family team on 01206 217320 for a free 15 minute chat or email philip.hoddell@birkettlong.co.uk

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