All I want is a clean break. Can we transfer the house first?

iStock_000008511772XSmall - houseThis is one of the most common questions I am asked.

Best practice is to have the order first and I will try to explain why.

Let’s take a typical example:

Mr and Mrs Williams are getting a divorce. They’ve been separated for a while and they’ve agreed that Mr Williams will stay in the family home and buy out his wife. He has been to a financial adviser and applied for a mortgage. The value of the house and the amount he is paying to his wife has been agreed.

All is going to plan and the couple are reasonably amicable. They both want to draw a line under their finances after the transaction has completed and they know that the best way to do this is to have a consent order in which there will be “clean break” clauses.

This type of order means that there can be no further claims for more money or property between each of them in the future, even after either of them dies.

But, in order to obtain the order, not only do Mr and Mrs Williams have to agree to the terms, the District Judge has to agree that the terms are fair to them both as well. Continue reading “All I want is a clean break. Can we transfer the house first?”

Sharland – it’s not about the money, it’s about principle

It’s not often that I believe someone who’s in a position where they have to say “it’s not about the money”. It generally is. But I’m leaning towards believing Mrs Sharland.

The full judgment in the Sharland v Sharland case is here. Some media are reporting that Mrs Sharland received £10million as a settlement when her husband was worth around £600million. This is not in fact the case.

Mr and Mrs Sharland settled their case part way through the final hearing after they had both given evidence in court but before some of their other witnesses (in this case their respective valuers of the husband’s business) had given their evidence.

It isn’t uncommon for people to settle part way through a hearing. But not a lot of money is saved settling at that stage in legal fees etc and so certainly Mr and Mrs Sharland must’ve thought it was better, for some other reason, to settle than to continue with the hearing and have a judge decide how the assets should be divided. Continue reading “Sharland – it’s not about the money, it’s about principle”

Separating but no divorce?

Have you thought about a separation agreement?

It isn’t unusual for people to separate for many months or even years before beginning divorce/dissolution proceedings.

Some just need time to save up for the court fee which is currently £550.

Others prefer to adjust to living alone, sometimes hoping that a reconciliation is still possible.

The undoing of the legal contract of marriage/civil partnership doesn’t hold the same sense of urgency for everyone. So does it make a difference? Are there any financial or other implications and if so what do you need to consider? Continue reading “Separating but no divorce?”

Does A Consent Order Have To Be Drafted By A Solicitor?

Does a consent order have to be drafted by a solicitor?

I think it’s helpful to look at how the court system works to understand whose responsibility it is to prepare court orders generally and then look at the question does a consent order have to be drafted by a solicitor.

Divorce court orders generally

In family cases, specifically divorce cases, there are some totally standardised court orders. These are, for example, the decree nisi and the decree absolute.

The court service automatically produces these documents. It is straightforward for the court service to do this because apart from changing the names of the parties, some dates and the case number, every decree is identical.

Financial Remedy Orders

Financial remedy orders are not so straightforward. Each one is bespoke. Each one is unique to the parties involved in that case. Some are very simple, for example orders which only contain clean break provisions. Others are not simple and require careful attention to detail.

There are two types of financial order. Financial orders which are made by a judge  after a contested hearing and financial orders made by consent. Continue reading “Does A Consent Order Have To Be Drafted By A Solicitor?”

What is a D81 Statement of Information For A Consent Order?

family law

A D81 Statement of Information for a Consent Order is a standard court form which has to be filled in and sent to the court with your application for a consent order.

The D81 is completed for you as part of our consent order services. To find out more about consent orders have a read of my factsheet on consent orders.

Continue reading “What is a D81 Statement of Information For A Consent Order?”