Breaking up is never easy I know

In 2019 more than 100,000 UK couples got divorced.  It is very likely that this figure will increase substantially post the Covid-19 pandemic.

Citizens Advise indicate that the divorce section of its website was visited 419359 times between July 2020 and July 2021, 14% higher than the previous year.  Following the easing of lockdown restrictions it also saw a spike in views of its divorce advice pages, particularly in relation to how to pay for a divorce.

Cost can often be a barrier in terms of people separating and matters being resolved in respect of finances.  However, it is always better to try to resolve financial matters arising from separation as soon as possible.  Things become more complicated the longer that parties leave these matters. If it is several years down the line, there will be various other things that require to be taken into account which could include new partners, sale of properties and payment of bills, mortgages etc. in the interim period.

Whilst it is understandable that parties can be very worried with regard to cost particularly in terms of seeking advice from a solicitor, failing to get advice can end up costing more. This is particularly true if parties enter into an agreement that is not binding or if they are not provided with advice in respect of  alternative dispute resolution methods as parties could reach agreement via other means rather than having to go through the court process if an agreement couldn’t be reached.

Quite often when parties try to resolve matters themselves, one of the parties is left in a weaker position because they perhaps don’t have the same assets as the other and don’t understand how these are dealt with in terms of the relevant legislation.  They may also be unaware of arguments that can be made on their behalf in respect of why they should receive more of the matrimonial pot.  Unfortunately, this can very often relate to women going through a split who are left in a weaker financial position as they maybe earn less with lower savings and pensions or have taken a career break to care to care for children of the marriage.  There are arguments that can be made in respect of these circumstances and that is why it is so important to take independent specialist advise.  Regularly we see in such situations parties ignoring pensions which can be a substantial asset that requires to be looked at in terms of the division of the matrimonial property.

We understand that when people are in the position of separating they can often be distressed and simply want to get matters dealt with.  However, taking initial advice will assist you in understanding your position, assist you in understanding what you may be entitled to and what your rights are in terms of the law.  You are under no obligation to then proceed with continuing to instruct a solicitor but at least you can be satisfied that you are aware of your position and the options available to you before taking any further steps in terms of reaching final agreement.

While progressing your divorce yourself can keep costs down it really is only suitable for couples who don’t have any assets to divide or children under sixteen because issues such as pension arrangements, around children and property can be much more complex.  Access to early legal advice helps couples make the best decisions about how they will separate.

How can Caritas Help

It can be very hard to separate financial matters from the emotional aspect of separation.  We here at Caritas Legal understand how difficult this situation can be and we can assist clients in terms of treating separation distinctly from the emotions that can accompany a separation.  We are here to support our clients through this difficult time in their lives while ensuring that they receive a fair and just settlement in respect of their separation.  We also are dedicated to ensuring the best outcome for our clients to ensure that they can move forward with their lives post separation.

For your initial consultation with one of our solicitors to discuss your particular situation and solutions that may apply then please contact us at info@caritaslegal.co.uk or 01383 431 101.

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