We will help you focus on the legal issues and getting the best outcome for you and your family.
Sorting out your finances following a separation can be very tricky, but it does not need to get nasty or contentious. It is important to ensure that there is proper financial disclosure of all assets and income irrespective of what you both consider to be “matrimonial” or not, that you do not listen to myths or what a friend of a friend thinks is the right outcome for you, or what they learnt from their divorce, and that you pick a compatible forum and appropriate third parties to help and guide you.
The legal costs depend on several factors. When considering the level of fees, it is worth taking into account the size of the assets involved. Legal fees can seem excessive, but when you consider the value of a house, pension and income streams, it makes more sense.
Generally, the following are key:
- personalities involved
It's a sad fact that this is perhaps the key issue. Multiple emails, calls and attending to a case will add to the costs. Often with retrospect this may not actually add any value to the outcome.
We will do our best to save you from yourself or from your ex, by:
- highlighting the relevant issues and focusing on these not ephemera
- acting promptly to avoid delays
- when a case is drifting away from the issues, warn you and refocus on what is relevant
- avoid point scoring, apportioning blame or responding tit for tat to personal digs (yes this does happen even when lawyers are involved)
Supporting you at mediation, negotiating between solicitors or going to court all have different fees.
There is no one size fits all here, and it is a case of considering what is best for you and acting accordingly. We do this by explaining the options and enabling you to make an informed choice, rather than persuading you to engage in a process which you do not feel is right for you, or which you feel pressured into by your ex.
If expert evidence is needed, this will add to the costs. Usually this entails the valuation of assets, for example an accountant to value shares in a private company, or a surveyor to value property or land. Sometimes such an instruction is unavoidable and will help bring your matter to a close sooner rather than later.
Funding your case
Legal fees can be high and come at a time of uncertainty, there is no hiding this. We realise this and want to ensure that instructing FLC is something which involves openness on the likely costs and how these can be met.
We have set out our hourly rates and what can be expected in terms of costs here. We have also set out the various options available for funding your case.
We accept: Litigation loans, credit or debit cards, bank transfer.
Can I sort out the finances without getting divorced?
Not in a completely final way – to do that you need a court order. But you can agree to the terms of this and include it within a separation agreement. A separation agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in terms of its effect – see Nuptial and other family agreements.
Why do I need a court order?
You want any agreement to be binding and enforceable. You will also want finality, so neither of you can make a claim in the future. The only way to do this is by a court order.
I hate the idea of going to court, what are my options?
Various: you can discuss the settlement directly with your spouse, negotiate via a solicitor or attend mediation. Which is the best option depends on how complicated the situation is, how much information is needed and whether each is being open with the other about their circumstances. If you reach a settlement, a consent order can be sent to the court and you will not have to go to court.
Are things always split 50:50?
No, in fact settlements are rarely completely equal. The first thing to sort out is where everyone will live, and what they will live on. Each party’s needs tend to be the main issue. If there is money left over, that is usually shared equally unless there is a good reason, for example, if it was inherited. Each case depends on the facts and so it is hard to generalise. But, if one person needs more, they are likely to receive a greater share of the family assets.
What about older children?
The law prioritises the needs of children until they reach the age of 18. After that they are part of the picture, but they are not top of the list. The law is practical here, and takes notice of the effect on a family of children attending university. This is likely to be reflected in the housing needs of a parent with whom the children live while not at university.
What is a pension sharing order?
A court order which divides one person’s pension and gives a set percentage to the other. A separate fund is created in the other person’s name. This can help balance the position in families where one parent gave up work and so has little or no pension cover. It is only available if you are married or in a civil partnership.
Can I claim maintenance?
Potentially yes. There are two types of maintenance: child maintenance and maintenance for a spouse. Every parent must support their children, see our page on financial provision for children for further details of this. Maintenance for adults is discretionary, and depends on the situation. It usually meets a person’s needs, that is their living costs. A maintenance order can only be made if it is affordable, and will generally be made for the shortest time possible to allow a person to get on their feet post-divorce.
My ex won't agree to sell the house, what can I do?
A court has the power to order the sale of an asset regardless of whether it is in sole or joint names, and can order how the proceeds should be shared. This can be done by making an application to the court for a financial order. It depends on the situation whether a court would make this order or not. It will consider the needs of both parties and how both are going to be rehoused following a sale.