The breakdown of a marriage is a very upsetting and stressful time for both parties. Deciding on breaking up a single life into two can be difficult to do on your own, especially when it comes to the financial side of things. Dispute resolution during a divorce can help you come to an agreement in a fair way, making an amicable split a more realistic option.
Mediation as the First Port of Call
Throughout a breakdown in a relationship there are stages where mediation is the best option at that time. Before taking matters to court and letting someone else decide the outcome, you should look for professional help with relation to talking to one another and trying to resolve issues independently. Mediation for financial disputes during a divorce is a great starting spot. Even if you cannot agree on matters here, there is a record that you have both attempted to do so and a negotiation starting point. An application to the court to resolve financial disputes will usually require you to have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a qualified mediator in any case.
Details of Finances
For a financial dispute to be resolved during a divorce it is imperative that both party’s fully disclose their financial situation, in order to there be a fair division of income and capital when it comes to settlement. Once an agreement is made they should be formalised by a court order to ensure that both parties are legally bound by the settlement and it can be enforced should either party default on their side of the agreement at a later date. Even if an agreement is made during mediation it should be taken to court to make certain and to ensure that it is a fair settlement for both concerned parties.
Court Considerations for Financial Disputes
There are no set rules concerning the financial disputes linked to divorce but a judge will always give first consideration to the welfare of any child under the age of 18 that is a result of the marriage. Other factors are then taken into account in order to work out the best settlement to resolve the dispute.
These factors include:
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakup of the marriage
- The financial needs and responsibilities of both parties for the present and foreseeable future
- The income, property owned and financial resources of both parties
- Duration of the marriage and age of each party
- The contributions both have made financially to the family in the past and for the future
- Any disability of either party
- The value of any benefit that either party could lose access to as a result of the breakdown of the marriage
At any stage during a financial dispute an agreement can be made. There are usually three court hearings during a financial application of this (A Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing – FDR), be prepared with all financial documents for each and with the aid of professional dispute resolution solicitors who are highly trained in the often confused process of a divorce.