Guide to financial separation when you divorce (England and Wales)

amicable’s guide to financial separation when you divorce or legally separate in England and Wales

Couple balancing on train tracks

Originally published on 28th September 2018 at 10:20 AM

Save time, energy and money by considering the principles for financial separation before the details bog you down. Reaching a fair financial split when you divorce or separate can be challenging, the advice below will help you to split your finances whilst remaining amicable.

What is financial separation?

Financial separation is agreeing with your ex on how to split your property or financial assets. This can be one of the hardest parts of the divorce or separation process. Few of us have enough money to comfortably share things out without sacrifices in lifestyle and this can be very hard to accept, especially if the separation isn’t your decision. Here are some tips to help you get your head around what you need to think about:

1. Agree on the principles together

Agreeing on the principles of how you want to divide things can keep you focused on the bigger picture.

Additionally, it allows more creativity in the way you sort out your finances – that’s usually good for everyone.

2. Record what you’ve both got and what you both owe

It’s impossible to split everything fairly if you don’t know what you’ve got and what you owe. If you’re planning on formalising your financial arrangement through a consent order, (also known as a financial order) you will need to have completed a financial disclosure. Honesty is key when splitting your finances, and anything that isn’t disclosed is up for discussion in the future.

It's important to note if you go straight to a lawyer – they will tell you what you can get and what’s best for you, but it’s important to remember this may not be what’s best for the both of you, or your children.

At amicable, we ensure the family unit is the central consideration when assisting with financial separation.

3. Making your agreements legally binding

You may want to make your financial agreements legally binding; this can be done through a consent order or a financial order. A consent order includes details on how you’re going to divide up your assets such as money, property, savings and investments. It can also include arrangements for maintenance payments, including child maintenance. Both you and your ex-partner must agree to the order and therefore both your signatures are required, as it is an order made by consent. If you don’t have a consent order you risk leaving yourself open to claims against you by your ex in the future.

Resources:

  • 15-minute free bespoke advice call
  • Find the right service for you
  • Parenting plan e-book

FAQ

What is a financial separation?

Financial separation is agreeing with your ex on how to split your finances once you separate. This can be agreed informally however to make it legally binding you will need a consent order.

How do you separate finances before divorce?

You can get a separation agreement with your ex in the interim before you divorce. A separation agreement outlines how you intend to split your finances once you have separated. It’s important to note that separation agreements are not the final say, you will need to get a consent order sealed through the courts to legalise your agreement.

How are finances divided in separation?

The starting point for splitting your finances when you divorce is usually a 50/50 split. You can read more information on what may change this percentage split (e.g. length of the marriage, age, health etc)

Hannah Hodgkinson
Hannah Hodgkinson
Hannah Hodgkinson is Head of Marketing at amicable. Hannah has over six years experience working for global NGOs and private consultancies and has a passion for marketing for companies with a social purpose

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