Do I need a Solicitor to divide assets during a divorce?

12 January 2021
When you are going through a divorce, you will need to divide your assets such as money, property and belongings, as well as pensions and investments, if you have them.
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It’s a common misconception that once you’re divorced, that’s it. However, a divorce can be a lengthy process, and it does not always end the financial relationship with your ex-partner. If you have transferred assets yourself you may have exposed yourself to future financial risks. Discover how a solicitor can help divide assets during a divorce.

What are the risks of dividing assets myself? 

If you come to a settlement agreement with your partner and transfer assets yourself, this can lead to your ex-partner making a claim against you in the future if you did not consult a solicitor. Complications can extend to assets that you acquire later on in life, for example, inheritance, or even a lottery win!

How can I protect myself during my divorce? 

The first thing to do is consult with an experienced solicitor who will explain the implications and help you divide your assets ensuring you have no future financial risk. Ask your solicitor to draft a consent order for you to avoid future claims. It is worth the investment now, as the implications of getting it wrong by doing it yourself can cause significant financial distress.

If you decide the agreement is not suitable, you can decline to proceed or revisit the agreement. Once an agreement has been reached by both parties, it should be properly documented in a consent order. This is a legally-binding document that sets out the financial arrangements that you have agreed upon. However, if a judge believes it is unsuitable for one or both the parties, it will need to be readdressed.

What assets do I need to consider when going through a divorce? 

The impact of dividing household finances across both parties can be an untangling process, and while you don’t have to include everything, we recommend that you include everything over £500.

If there are any debts you share, you will both be responsible for the whole amount. If you believe your ex-partner can’t, then you will need to settle the debt yourself. If you are worried your ex-partner cannot or will refuse to pay, you should consult your solicitor.

The main assets you may need to divide include: 

  • Cars 
  • Money in the bank including joint accounts as well as your own 
  • Savings and investments 
  • Property 
  • Pensions
  • Personal belongings including jewellery and furniture

How can a solicitor help divide my assets during a divorce?

It’s not the law that you use a solicitor or any other professional body when you sort out your finances, as you can decide this between yourself and your ex-partner.

However, many couples do seek legal advice from a solicitor, even if it’s for a one-off consultation or an initial meeting with a mediator. A solicitor can also help you every step of the way, from form filling to putting into effect an agreement you have reached with your ex-partner.

Get in touch with our team of Divorce Lawyers today to discuss how we can help you through the stages of a settlement agreement with no future financial implications.