Dividing your assets following a divorce isn’t easy, but with our help you can make it less stressful.
We’ve compiled everything that you need to know about asset division during divorce and broken it down into steps.
Let’s take a look.
Coming To An Agreement
First off, try to talk to your ex-partner and come to an agreement that suits you both. You can use Gov.uk’s divorce and separation calculator to work out your finances and what you own.
Advice Now has created a useful guide to help you sort out your finances following a divorce. It’s also worth talking to a legal professional who can talk through the division process with you.
Once an agreement has been reached, you will need to visit the family court and apply for a consent order.
Applying For a Consent Order
A solicitor will need to draft your consent order in order to make it legally binding.
The legal document is a confirmation of your agreement and will detail how your assets are going to be divided. This includes the division of:
This can also include maintenance payments, for example Child Support.
You and your ex-partner will also need to sign the draft consent order and fill in:
Then, both forms need to be sent to the court dealing with your case along with the draft consent order. There is a £100 fee for this process. It’s also advisable to keep your own copies of the documents.
The judge will approve the agreement if they believe it to be fair and reasonable for both parties.
If You Can’t Come To An Agreement
If you have tried and failed to come to a mutually beneficial agreement with your ex-partner, applying for a financial order is the next step to take. It’s advisable to seek legal representation at this stage if you haven’t already.
Applying For A Financial Order
A financial order is most commonly used if you want:
- A lump-sum payment
- Ownership of a property
- Regular maintenance payments (living expenses or children)
- A share of your ex-partner’s pension payments
The application for a financial order includes a fee of £255 and the process can take between six and twelve months to finalise. You will have to attend a number of court appointments and hearings in order to complete the process. These are separate from your divorce proceedings.
You can apply for a financial order by filling out a financial order application form. Next you will need to send two signed and completed copies to the court dealing with your case and remember to keep copies for your own records.
Read more about financial orders here.
How Do The Courts Split Assets?
The judge will take certain factors into account when deciding how to divide your assets:
- The length of your marriage or civil partnership
- Your ages
- Your earning power
- Any property or money you own
- Your regular living expenses
- Your current standard of living
- Your role in the marriage or civil partnership; for example, main breadwinner or primary caregiver
It’s important to note that fair does not always mean equal. The judge will decide on the fairest way to divide the assets in order to meet everyone’s needs. They will make any arrangements for children first, especially if housing arrangements and child maintenance are involved.
The judge will aim for what’s called a ‘clean break’ so that all financial ties with your ex-partner are broken.
Find out more about how the courts deal with financial orders.
One way to help simplify the asset division process is by having a prenuptial agreement that lays out how your most valuable possessions will be divided up. A Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer can help you with this process.
The court can sometimes order the party with the highest income to make regular payments to help with the other party’s living costs. This is what is commonly known as a maintenance order. These can work in one of two ways:
- For a set period of time
- Until one of the parties dies, marries or starts a new civil partnership
The payments can also be adjusted if either party loses their job or has a significant pay increase. The court can also decide what child maintenance payments need to be made but this is more likely to be arranged by the Child Maintenance Service.
What Tax Will I Pay When Transferring Assets?
The amount of tax that you pay on assets that are transferred to and from you very much depends on the asset in question. Assets include items like shares, personal possessions and property.
You may have to pay Capital Gains Tax on any assets that you transfer to your ex-partner following your split. Make sure that you have the asset valued so that you can calculate the gain or loss made. It’s always advisable to seek professional legal advice.
Need Legal Advice?
For legal advice you can trust, look no further. A Cordell & Cordell Divorce Lawyer can help you through this stressful time. For expert advice on asset division, divorce settlement, and family law, please contact Cordell & Cordell.
Find out more about child maintenance costs using Cordell & Cordell’s child maintenance calculator tool.