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How do Divorce Financial Settlements work?

All you need to know…

Reaching a financial settlement during a divorce can get complicated, so our team makes everything easier to understand, simplifying the legal jargon. We will offer you a realistic and accurate forecast of what is likely to happen and of your financial position.

Senior Associate Ciara Barlow is a highly experienced expert in this field of Family Law and she and our team will guide you through this process with the care and attention it needs, and the information required to make well-informed decisions about your financial security today and for your future.

Ciara answers the first and most frequently asked questions posed by her private clients- and she outlines preliminary advice for any family members considering their financial options.

How does financial settlement work in divorce?

Financial settlement is an agreement between you and your ex-spouse on how to separate your assets/debts once the marriage is over. A financial settlement can be reached either in Court or out of Court. A matrimonial agreement is essentially an out of Court settlement by mutual agreement between Parties and their respective solicitors. An Ancillary Relief application is an application to the Court where an agreement cannot be reached. The Court will consider how the matrimonial assets/debts will be divided after the divorce through this application. Full financial disclosure of each other’s assets will be required; this will include property, pensions, incomes, and inherited assets. 

Who decides financial settlement in divorce?

This can be achieved by mutual agreement between the Parties and their respective solicitors or conducted formally through the Court process.

How long does it take to get a financial settlement in divorce in NI?

This depends on the particulars of your case and also the timetable of the Court.

What comes first divorce or financial settlement?

You can agree a financial settlement before or after your divorce has been finalised. If you can’t agree on the division of assets and you want the Judge to determine this for you, you can’t make an application for the Court to consider financial matters until you’ve filed for divorce/dissolution.

Is my husband / wife entitled to half my savings?

More often than not savings will have been built up during the marriage thereby they will be considered a matrimonial asset regardless of whether they are in one Parties sole name. Savings will therefore be considered as part of a financial settlement.

Can you empty a bank account before divorce?

Whilst legally you are entitled to do so, this would be very unwise. This may be deemed by the Judge as an attempt to hide matrimonial assets or deprive your spouse of a fair share and you risk being penalised by the Court.

What’s a Freezing Order?

A freezing Order is an interim injunction granted by the Court to prevent a person from being able to dispose of or deal with their assets. This includes money in the bank, property, cars, business assets and shares. 

How do I protect my savings in a divorce?

The best way to protect your savings is to consider a pre nuptial (or post nuptial) agreement. 

Will my wife / husband get half my pension if we divorce?

It is important to realise your pension is an asset, just like your home or the savings in your bank account. They are therefore treated like any other matrimonial asset that should be divided between you and your spouse or civil partner. It is however possible to ringfence part of your pension to reflect contributions made outside of the marriage. 

How much should I save for divorce?

Every case is different, some more complex and contentious than others. Professional fees therefore will differ. Get in touch with us and we will be able to guide you on court fees for divorce and Ancillary Relief fees.

Get in Touch

If you would like to chat to us about your options in relation to Divorce Financial Settlements, Ciara and our specialist team will guide you through the process.

Call us on 0800 840 9292 or make an enquiry via our Let’s get Started form.

Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help you with your query, please contact us.