Financial Claims and Separation Agreements

When a relationship breaks down, often one of the most important areas that clients need advice on is sorting out the finances. This can be a stressful, worrying or confusing time.

If you were not married but you were living together as if you were married, then special rules may apply. See our section on the the breakdown of cohabiting relationships.

The ideal solution is to enter into a ‘Separation Agreement’ to deal with the finances. A Separation Agreement is effectively a contract. It can cover issues such as the house, bank accounts, policies, pensions and any other assets or debts. If all of that can be sorted out amicably and by way of a written agreement which draws a line under the financial side of things, a court action can be avoided.

Aliment and Periodical Allowance

Financially, various issues arise, such as maintenance of any children (by agreement or through the CSA), and also maintenance between husband and wife (called spousal maintenance or aliment). It’s not often appreciated that, after a separation and pending a divorce, spouses have a duty to pay aliment if there is a financial imbalance and one party is having difficulty making ends meet.

If you think you might need to make this kind of claim, Inksters has a downloadable Information Sheet, available from the resources section of this website, which outlines the circumstances in which a claim can be made and how Inksters will go about helping you. There is also an accompanying form which sets out the initial information we will require to get started on your claim. You may wish to use this form to tell us about the financial circumstances of yourself and your partner before e-mailing or posting it to us.

Matrimonial Property

At Inksters, we can provide advice as to a fair division of matrimonial property in order that the financial side of things can be dealt with in the best way. If required, we can also attend to any conveyancing needed (if title to the house is to be transferred) or estate agency (if the house is to be sold).

Separation agreements are usually binding (apart from very limited circumstances in which they can be set aside). This is why it is advisable to consult a solicitor early in the process of negotiating the division of property. Mistakes such as, for example, failure to take a pension into account, could be very difficult to put right and could make a huge difference in the amount payable to each party.

For detailed information on what counts as matrimonial property and the rules which govern how much you may be entitled to, you may wish to have a look at Inksters’ downloadable information sheet, available from the resources section of this website. Again, you can also download a form which is designed to help you put together the type of information we need from you before we can begin.

If you need any advice, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Family Law solicitors on 03454 500 123.