Don’t Let Divorce Ruin Your Finances

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released at the beginning of 2017 show that divorce, both its rate and a total number has fallen to its lowest level in 40 years. In total, just over 111,000 couples in England and Wales divorced in 2014 (the year that the ONS have the latest stats for), a fall of 3.1% from the year before and a dramatic 27% fall from 2004.

Whilst no-one is quite sure just what the reason for the dramatic decline is, many people put it down to the rise in cohabitation prior or marriage as well as a rise in the average age that people are getting married. One of these experts is Katie Lowe, a family lawyer with JMW Solicitors who recently told the Daily Telegraph:

“Some might argue that cohabitation is almost a form of natural selection for marriage, preventing couples in fragile or troubled relationships from progressing to marriage and, quite possibly, to divorce. The rising average age at which people divorce – now 45.6 for men and 43.1 for women – showed that a “mid-life mirror” is at work in many relationships.”

However, whilst these statistics are a positive signal, it still means that over 100,000 couples per year are divorcing every year and it is crucial that if you are in such a position that you protect your finances. Knowing more about the financial elements of a divorce will help you to know what you’re entitled to. Such knowledge won’t make your divorce completely stress-free, but it will help you and your ex-partner to at least be amicable with each other during this difficult process.

Do you have a prenuptial agreement?

Whilst these are becoming more common in the UK, they are nowhere near as popular as in the United States of America. If you do have one, then this should make the financial implications of your divorce much clearer as terms will have been discussed prior to the wedding and agreed. However, like we said, very few couples in the UK have these, although they are becoming more popular and may be worth considering if you marry again.

Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement

Easier said than done because divorce is an inherently emotional activity. Make sure you separate your feelings from your financial considerations because you could severely harm your financial future if you do not.

Get a specialist solicitor

Getting a socialist divorce lawyer is essential. As well as giving you all the specialist advice that you need to ensure you get the very best settlement, they can help you not let your emotions cloud your judgement (see above). You don’t need to go to a big city firm to get a good specialist, you’ll find specialist divorce solicitors in nearly every town and city in the UK.

Don’t forget the debt!

It’s very easy to concentrate on money and assets in divorce proceedings but debt is just as important. Knowing who is responsible for any joint debt is crucial and splitting it fairly will hopefully help you have an amicable and reasonably stress-free divorce.

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