It’s human nature to want to move on from a relationship that has broken down. And one thing that concerns couples facing divorce, is being able to go their separate ways financially. Many clients ask me about having a ‘clean break’.
I’ve seen cases involving couples who have managed to agree how to divide their assets. They reach agreement between themselves and believe that because they have divorced they will no longer have a financial claim against each other.
But - it’s a myth that when a couple divorce they are released from their financial obligations.
A legally binding agreement
It’s only possible to reach a legally binding agreement by submitting a Consent Order to the Court, or by having your financial settlement decided in Court. A Consent Order sets out what has been agreed between you. It also gives you the certainty of knowing that your former spouse can’t later claim against your assets or income.
Cases of financial claims being made many years after separation
You may believe that your financial circumstances are straightforward. Your former spouse may also have reassured you that they won’t seek to make any claim against you in the future. But you may have heard in the press about cases of financial claims being made many years after separation - cases involving lottery wins and inheritances. These are the extreme examples reported by the media – but every divorcing couple is exposing themselves to this risk if they do not have a Consent Order.
Considering your future
If you are facing a divorce, the only way to guarantee that you will avoid claims in future is by having a Consent Order approved by the Court.
It may sound obvious, but all divorcing couples should seek independent legal advice. Even if you have reached an agreement between you, getting the right advice will ensure your agreement will be binding.