The ongoing pandemic and financial crisis are placing a great deal of strain on couples, causing divorces to rise. Jackson Lees’ divorce expert, Anna Francis, explains the importance of seeking independent legal advice to secure your finances when going through a separation.

Wirral Globe: Jackson Lees’ divorce expert, Anna FrancisJackson Lees’ divorce expert, Anna Francis (Image: Jackson Lees)

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been placing couples and families under a great deal of pressure, which has no doubt had an impact on divorce rates. Now, with the current cost of living crisis looming over our heads, the increased strain on our finances is going to place additional stress on married couples and divorce rates are likely to increase even further.

The courts have put new procedures in place in an attempt to simplify and streamline the divorce process. This includes the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which enables married couples to divorce without apportioning blame to the other.

However, it is important that both parties in a divorce seek separate and independent legal advice with regards to the resolution and division of marital assets. It may come as a surprise to many, that whilst a divorce legally brings an end to a marriage, it does not automatically bring an end to any financial claims that an ex-spouse has against the other.

There is no statutory time limit for bringing a financial claim against an ex-spouse after divorce, therefore, both parties are left with an uncertainty that even years after their divorce they could be faced with their former spouse making an application to court for financial provision against them.

Only an order approved and sealed by the court ensures that all financial matters and assets have been dealt with and divided appropriately. Where appropriate, it will also include a clean break to dismiss all future financial claims that a divorced couple may have against one another. This means that any property, capital and other assets that are acquired by former spouses after separation and divorce are protected.

Without such an order, which can either be made by agreement between the spouses and lodged with the court or made by a judge in financial remedy proceedings, the respective claims of each spouse against the other are simply left open indefinitely.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 provides divorcing couples with a 20-week timeframe from the initial divorce application being made for them to apply for a Conditional Order. This extended period will enable spouses to discuss and agree on any financial matters and incorporate their decisions into a Financial Consent Order. A judge can then formally approve these orders, turning any decisions made into a legal and enforceable agreement.

If it’s not possible for spouses to come to an agreement, then either party is open to make an application for a Financial Remedy Order so that a judge can decide on behalf of the couple.

While the introduction of ‘streamlined’ divorces may be tempting for divorcing couples to try and handle the separation themselves without the help of a solicitor, seeking independent legal advice will allow them the peace of mind that the division of their marital assets will be appropriate and fair.

Our experts understand how stressful and upsetting a divorce can be, which is why we’re on hand to listen to your situation and ensure that your finances are handled sensitively and appropriately.

If you would like to talk to one of our specialist family law advisers, please call us free on 0808 271 5266 (also free to call from mobiles) or email or visit our website

At Jackson Lees we understand that a breakdown of a relationship is upsetting and can be one of the most difficult times in your life. We will provide you with expert, professional and sensitive legal advice, helping you deal with divorce, financial matters and any questions you may have as a parent.

What Jackson Lees can do for you…

  • Fixed fee options available
  • Three local offices to choose from:
  • Hoylake 0151 909 8652,
  • Heswall 0151 909 8689,
  • Liverpool 0151 601 5818
  • Collaborative lawyers

If you are in need of family law advice, contact our team to book an appointment or to chat through your options. Call us free from either a mobile or landline on 0808 271 5266.

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