We help secure the financial settlement that’s right for you
Going through a significant change, like a divorce, is not easy. Everyone’s situation is different, and every divorce is individual, so we provide tailored support to ensure your financial settlement is individual too.
Unpicking and dividing finances and assets during a divorce can feel daunting, so we avoid the legal jargon and make sure you fully understand the process, giving you a clear picture of where you stand financially.
We know reaching a satisfactory financial settlement can sometimes be complex, so our team of expert divorce and finance solicitors will carefully guide you, providing realistic and achievable advice at every step.
Our experienced and caring team provide first-class legal advice to support you through divorce, no matter how challenging your situation.
We are committed to agreeing on the best outcome for you and your family. It can be achieved amicably through effective negotiation and mediation, collaboration, or court representation, depending on the best solution for your circumstances.
We’ll help you make the right financial decisions to protect your future.
Contact our divorce and finance solicitors in Northwich, Cheshire
Frequently asked questions about divorce and finances
What services do divorce and finance solicitors offer?
Securing a financial settlement can be complex, so you need an expert divorce and finance team to guide you throughout the process. Our highly experienced solicitors can advise on matters including:
- Divorce and separation
- What happens to the family home
- Second homes, holiday homes and investment properties
- Business assets
- Personal savings and investments
- Inheritances & Family Trusts
- International assets
- Child maintenance
How are finances divided in divorce?
Legally, the starting point for the division of finances in a divorce is 50:50, but the reality is usually more complicated. Any negotiated settlement or financial order approved by a court will have taken into account factors including:
- The combined assets available
- Each person’s reasonable needs
- The needs of any children
- Each person’s contribution to the marriage (including non-financial contributions, such as child care)
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Each person’s age
- Each person’s physical and mental health
- Any adverse conduct
- Any prenuptial agreements
Exactly what you can expect to receive from the division of assets will entirely depend on the unique circumstances of your divorce. You should seek expert legal advice at an early stage so you are clear about your rights and what your expectations should be.
Do you need court proceedings to get a divorce settlement?
It is possible to agree a financial settlement during your divorce without contested court proceedings through alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation and mediation. It is usually much faster and less costly than court proceedings and reduces potential conflict.
However, if a settlement cannot be agreed or a collaborative approach is not appropriate for your circumstances, you may need to apply to a court to decide how your finances should be divided.
One question we always address with clients at an early stage is whether it is appropriate to issue what is known as a ‘Financial Remedy Application’ to a family court. Making such an application to the court should not be regarded as a hostile step or a last resort but rather a way of starting the court timetable.
For more information, please click here to download our fact sheet.
Who pays the legal fees in a divorce?
The person applying for the divorce will be responsible for paying the necessary court divorce fee and their own legal costs. In the case of a joint application (where both spouses apply together), they will need to agree on how to cover the court fee.
When it comes to the legal costs associated with reaching a financial settlement, each person will generally be responsible for covering their own legal costs. However, in certain circumstances, the court may exercise discretion and order one party to pay the other party’s legal costs.
How does financial disclosure work in divorce?
When the division of finances is being worked out during divorce, both parties must provide full and frank disclosure of all material facts, documents and any other information relevant to the issues relating to the family, individual finances and business within the marriage.
The duty of disclosure is an ongoing obligation and therefore any material changes after initial disclosure must be made during the divorce process.
Failure to make full and frank financial disclosure during your divorce could mean that any settlement agreed or financial order made by a court could later be challenged and overturned. Additionally, failure to comply with this requirement could expose you to being ordered to pay the other party’s legal costs. Our divorce financial solicitors can advise you on all aspects of financial disclosure.
What happens to the family home in divorce?
The family home will usually be considered a shared asset for the division of finances. Each spouse will, therefore, typically have a right to a share of the property’s value. The most common options for dealing with the family home are:
- One spouse stays in the house, and the other gets a more significant share of other assets to offset the value of their share
- The home is sold, and the proceeds split
- If there are children, one spouse may be allowed to stay in the family home with the children until they are 18, at which point the property will be sold, and the value split
Our divorce solicitors will be happy to advise on your rights to the family home during your divorce and discuss the different options for dealing with this issue.
What is form E?
Form E is a legal document used during divorce. It is used to provide disclosure of each person’s full financial situation to reach a fair division of finances. Each spouse will complete their own Form E with the support of their legal advisor.
What is a ‘freezing order’?
If one spouse is worried that the other might attempt to sell or otherwise dispose of key assets to avoid their inclusion in divorce proceedings, they can apply for a freezing injunction to prevent this. A freezing injunction is a type of court order, so it is sometimes also referred to as a ‘freezing order’.
What happens to a business in divorce?
Business assets are not exempt from the division of finances in divorce, so their value will need to be considered. How they will be factored into any settlement or financial order will depend on the situation.
If only one spouse owns or has shares in the business, this value may be offset against the value of other assets, such as the family home, in order to protect the company. If the couple owns the business together, then one may need to buy out the other, or they may agree to continue owning the business together.
Is a limited company protected in divorce?
Limited companies are not protected during divorce – subject to any capital value within the company, the shareholding may be considered part of your assets. However, it is worth noting that a court will generally be reluctant to do anything to harm the business, especially if it is providing income.
As with other business assets, a normal approach would be to give your spouse a bigger share of other assets in exchange for keeping control of the business. Alternatively, it may make sense to transfer some shares into their name, depending on the situation.
Who pays school fees after divorce?
The issue of who pays school fees after divorce should be agreed in any financial settlement you make. If you cannot agree to this, it is possible to apply to a court for an order covering the payment of these fees.
Can my spouse have my pension in divorce?
Pension assets must be considered as part of the division of finances and are often one of the most valuable assets people have. There are three main options for dealing with pensions in divorce:
- Pension offsetting – where one spouse is given a bigger share of other assets in exchange for surrendering their rights over their former spouse’s pension
- Pension sharing – where part of one spouse’s pension pot is placed into a new, separate pension plan for the sole benefit of the other spouse
- Pension earmarking – where a part of one spouse’s pension is paid to the other spouse on a regular basis once the pension starts paying out (this approach is rarely used as it involves the two former spouses staying financially tied together)
Why Choose Susan Howarth & Co for divorce financial advice?
We believe that everyone has the right to access justice and expert legal advice. This can make navigating even the most complicated family law situations much simpler and less stressful. We are very proud of our family law department and the fantastic reputation our high-calibre solicitors have built in the community.
At Susan Howarth & Co, we approach every case with professionalism and commitment. No client’s needs are the same, which is why we always take the time to listen to you and understand your individual requirements.
A key benefit we can offer is our in-house family mediation service. We have a specialist Resolution-trained Family Mediator who is also a Resolution-accredited Specialist in Domestic Violence and Children Law (private) and an FMC-accredited Family Mediator (all issues).
Our expertise is independently recognised, including:
- Ranked as a Band 2 legal practice in the Chambers & Partners UK legal guide
- Directors Susan Howarth and Victoria Poole are both also ranked as ‘Notable Practitioners’ by Chambers & Partners UK
- Ranked as a Band 3 Leading Family Law Firm in The Legal 500 directory
- Susan Howarth has been ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ for 4 consecutive years by the Legal 500 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023 as one of only seven individual for Family Law (North West)
- Accreditation by the Law Society for Family Law and Children Law
- Many of our team are members of Resolution, the leading professional network for family lawyers
- Year on year we gain Lexcel accreditation for excellence in practice management
- We are winners of the Best Family and Childcare Law firm 2023 and 2022 in the AI Legal Awards
- We have been finalists of the Lexis Nexis Family Law Firm of the Year (North) for 2 consecutive years