Negotiated solutions are usually better
Ideally, the financial arrangements will be agreed through negotiation.
This could be with the assistance of mediation or collaborative family law. Sometimes the couple will ask a private judge to make a legally binding determination through the process of arbitration. But, if no agreement can be reached, then either of the couple may make an application to the court. There then follows a court process which will end with the financial order being made. There is a bit more about the procedure below.
But, sensibly negotiated and fair solutions should be just as fair as what may have been ordered by a court after an expensive and divisive court process. They will be achieved quicker and at less cost. Where a couple have children – the achievement of having reached a negotiated solution together will hopefully assist the couple working together
Full and frank financial disclosure
Bridget Garrood – Senior Consultant Solicitor – Divorce/ Finance/ LGBT+ Specialist
Finalising financial arrangements is normally a two-stage process. Firstly there is financial disclosure. Then after financial disclosure has taken place there is negotiation.
Both of the couple are under a duty to provide full financial disclosure. This can extend to having properties valued and obtaining valuations of pensions and other assets. Negotiation means making informed decisions – and this is not possible without full information.
Our specialist team
We have built a very strong specialist team of divorce lawyers – supported by our in-house accountant.
The Head of our divorce team – Lauren Preedy is the chair of the Somerset region of Resolution. Our team also includes other very experienced divorce lawyers. In our view our team is a strong as anyone else in the South-West.
Good legal practice is about finding fair solutions.
Fiona Griffin – Senior Consultant Solicitor – Divorce/ Finance Specialist
Couple separate because they are not getting on. The process of working out what will be a fair financial settlement can be stressful and it is very easy for this to contribute to relations between the couple getting even worse.
Whilst sometimes it is necessary to make an application to the court – a court application is not automatically the best way forward. The best way of achieving a solution will vary from case to case. A key factor will be the willingness of both of the couple to provide all relevant financial information and the willingness of both of the couple to enter into meaningful negotiations.
When either of a couple choose a solicitor – they want their solicitor to guide them through what could be a very challenging time, as nicely as possible – but with the confidence that the solicitor is on their side and is working for them to achieve a fair financial arrangement.
If sensible negotiations can be undertaken – then it may be that the only interaction with the court will be asking the court to approve what will have been agreed as being a fair settlement/final court order.
The negotiations could take place through principled negotiation through solicitors, collaborative family law, mediation (with legal advice in support of the mediation or the lawyers attending some of the mediation meetings) or through using arbitration (a private judge).