Is it wise to delay a financial settlement?

The financial settlement is the final process of a divorce and involves the court setting down the terms of the deal between you and your former partner. Once this has taken place, the settlement then becomes a binding ‘financial order’ and is something that will shape not only your life but the lives of your children. Before discussing when you should address the financial settlement in divorce, let’s consider what the court takes into account when making their decision, to help you make a more informed decision.

What the court takes into account when deciding on a financial settlement

There are a number of things the court takes into account when deciding on a financial settlement. It is important to be aware of exactly what is considered to help you decide if delaying the financial settlement is the best decision.

  • Who the children will be living with. This allows the court to determined the size and type of housing required by each person, as well as their financial outgoings. The court can also determine if child maintenance should be paid to the father or mother. This is paid up until age 16 and The Guardian links to a child maintenance calculator that can be used to calculate exaclty what you could be entitled to.
  • Length of the marriage. This is always taken into account by the court. A short marriage is considered less than five years, a medium marriage is 6-14 years, and a long marriage is one that was longer than 14 years.
  • Ages of parties involved.
  • Budgets. Each spouse is required to present a detailed budget to the court, which indicates future income and financial needs.
  • New partners. Any new partners are always taken into account as this could suggest you have fewer financial needs.

So many factors are looked at in such great detail to ensure the interests of both parties are adequately taken into account. It is possible that one partner may be required to pay maintenance to the other less wealthy partner.

Should you delay a financial settlement?

When a couple gets divorced, there is no set time limit on them to make an application to court to decide exactly how their finances should be split. We almost always advice that it is in your best interest to resolve your financial claims at the point of separation. This is because a divorce does not prevent your spouse from making a financial claim years later. What is more, if you get remarried without resolving financial matters from a previous marriage, you can limit the financial claims you can bring against them in the future. For example, applications for maintenance will not be possible once you are remarried.

Not settling your finances straight away could come back to haunt you in the future. It could cost you a lot of unnecessary money, time and stress later. It is possible to avoid going to court hearings if you agree how to split your money and property through a solicitor. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us about family law matters, for further advice from our professionals.