Andrew Meehan of Harrogate Family Law

6 steps to take when you’re getting divorced

27 June 2016

When you are getting divorced the things you do in the first few weeks can have quite an impact on the financial outcome. That’s why it’s important to take advice before you make any decisions that could affect your long term position.

Here are 6 early steps you can take to protect your position when you are going through a divorce:-

Don’t agree anything too hastily

You may be tempted to agree a settlement quickly to keep things simple and avoid any long drawn out arguments. You might think the fairest thing is to split everything down the middle and move on. Be careful as there may be assets you are unaware of or hadn’t thought about. You also need to understand that assets can be valued in different ways. You need to ensure that assets have been valued fairly because doing so could add a significant amount to your overall settlement.

See a solicitor early

Before you reach any agreement talk things through with a specialist family lawyer. We are accustomed to spotting potential pitfalls and hurdles straight away and can help you make the right decisions in those early days. Everyone hopes their case will be straightforward but few are completely without their difficulties. We secure a fair and accurate valuation of all assets including pensions, businesses, residential and commercial properties, farms, shares and share options, endowment policies and personal personal possessions like jewellery, cars and number plates.

Have the right strategy

Try not to take advice from friends and family. They are well meaning but one approach does not suit everyone. There are lots of different ways to reach financial settlement such as mediation, collaborative family law, negotiation through solicitors and going to court. Some solicitors favour one method over another whereas we find the right strategy for you and your circumstances.

Prevent your spouse disposing of or hiding assets

It is important to ensure that, pending a financial settlement being reached, the assets are protected. If this isn’t done, then your spouse may dispose of or hide assets and you may receive less that you are entitled to. Steps can be taken to protect your position if you suspect this has happened. Even if assets have been sold or transferred we can look to use a forensic accountant to track them down.

Make sure you have enough money to pay your bills

We will ensure you have enough money to meet your expenses whilst the financial settlement is being sorted out. We’ll help you to work out what you need to support yourself and your children on an interim basis, including legal costs, and negotiate with your spouse to secure the money you need.

Don’t set a precedent

Avoid setting a precedent that may reduce the amount of the divorce settlement you ultimately receive. If you agree to receive too little money in the interim, you are showing that you can survive on that and it might be much more difficult to argue that you should receive more. If you move out of the house without your children, then you may find it very difficult to arrange for them to live you with in the future.

If you’d like to discuss these or any other family law matters with us pick up the phone and call one of our team on 01423 594 680.

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