The third in a five-part series: Just Because You’re Divorced, Does Not Mean That Your Financial Ties Are Severed.
So, you’re now divorced. It’s taken you awhile to get to where you are, but you’re finally at the end of the long and possibly dark road. Your marriage is at an end, and you have a piece of paper to prove this. Your decree absolute, proving that your marriage is at an end. Once more, you’ve managed to reach an agreement with your spouse about the division of the house, your savings, and what happens to the children. Out with the old, in with the new. Things have finished, or have they?
Most people think that the decree absolute signifies the end of the ties with your now ex-husband or ex-wife. Well it does mean that you’re divorced from the other person but it does not necessarily mean that your financial ties are severed. This is the case even if you’ve agreed things about the house, the children, etc. If you do not have a financial order that is approved by the court setting out who gets A and who gets B, either party is free to make an application to the court at a later stage to get the financial matters finalized.
Yes, that’s right. If you do not have a financial order that is approved by the court, even though you have all your money sorted out, five, 10, or even 20 years down the line your ex-husband or your ex-wife could try and get more money from you. That’s because the court will look at your income, assets, and liabilities, as in when the application is made, not when you got divorced. So, for example, you’ve won the lottery in the meantime, or perhaps you’ve come into some money because an aunt’s died, or maybe you’ve just done a little bit better for yourself and got a better paying job. Well, your ex could try and get some of that.
The court will consider how long you’ve been divorced, and what agreement you’ve reached, if any, when you got divorced. Whether your ex-husband or ex-wife will be successful, and how much they’ll get is another matter. But do you really want to take that chance?
Do you want even the smallest possibility that all your hard earned money being available to your ex-husband or ex-wife so that they have a second bite of the cherry? Most people would say no, in which case you need to enter into a financial agreement. Even if it’s setting out the obvious, even if you’re being generous and giving the other person a whole house, or all your savings, or your pension. Be smart, have a financial agreement, and finalize everything forever.
At F Arthur Jones & Co Solicitors we offer a free 30 minute consultation. Email or Call today: email@example.com or call 01395 265668.