Does it make good sense to leave a marriage without a deal?
This question is very much at the forefront of our minds. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced to the world that the UK will separate from the EU on October 31st with or without a divorce deal.
The same question is often considered by couples contemplating a marriage break up. Shall we just get a divorce and go our separate ways or should we sort out our finances with a court order?
As family lawyers we always recommend it’s a good idea not to end a marriage without reaching a financial deal. Failure to reach an agreement could lead to unnecessary and protracted legal action at a later date.
In one well-publicised case a man was ordered to pay £300,000 to his ex-wife following a successful claim being brought some 19 years later after the divorce.
It is therefore vitally important to consider the financial implications of a divorce at an early stage. This is particularly true when looking at tangible assets such as a jointly held property, as inevitably the longer the parties leave this the more a property is worth. Finding an early solution can be advantageous to both parties. Claims brought post-divorce often involve the added complication of trying to separate what is a matrimonial asset and a non-matrimonial asset.
Even in cases where there are no assets it is advisable to have a finalising court order, even if all it says is that each party keeps what they have. This is called a Clean Break Consent Order. This has the benefit that neither party can make a future claim against the other party whether in respect of maintenance, pensions or for capital.
Whatever your politics, when it comes to divorce, a no deal departure is not recommended.