If you’re planning to divorce, the thought of splitting your assets may mean you’re putting it off for financial reasons. However, B P Collins’ family team advises that whilst there is always merit in allowing the dust to settle, waiting too long to resolve matters may backfire in some cases, as uncertainty and additional complexity can be generated when matters are left to drift. For example…
If you make any post separation gains such as a lottery win, receive an inheritance or are awarded bonuses or Long-Term Incentive Plans from work, you may end up having to give some of this money to your spouse. Even if a court decides that these funds are non-marital, they can still be considered to meet their needs.
Likewise, any debts that your ex accrues post separation may end up being taken into account when you finally do divide up your assets.
Delaying your divorce could also prevent you and your spouse from moving on emotionally as you are intrinsically bound together by marriage. This is particularly difficult where there might be domestic abuse in a relationship.
Not the main breadwinner?
If you’re not the main breadwinner, you may feel scared about your financial future when you divorce. However, by getting expert legal advice early on, will not only help to remove some of the uncertainty, but discussions on an informed basis are usually more constructive. It’s important to remember that seeking legal advice at any stage does not commit you to getting divorced, and everything you discuss with your solicitor is kept strictly confidential.
Final financial order
Don’t forget that even if you and your spouse divorce, the law allows claims to be made in the future – even many years down the line – when no final financial order has been made. However, with one in place, any money or assets you receive or earn afterwards, will remain yours.
Seek expert advice
With all the emotional turmoil you may be experiencing, having to worry about your future finances could add to your anxiety. You should therefore look for an experienced family lawyer with whom you have a rapport and feel supported by. It should be someone who will provide clear and constructive advice, even if that includes things you don’t want to hear.
B P Collins’ family team also has an excellent network of financial advisers; mortgage brokers; accountants for tax advice and guidance on the impact of waiting to transfer assets between you, if your assets are sizeable; plus divorce coaches who can help you through the entire process.