Essentially there are four financial claims that give rise to a financial settlement in a legal separation or divorce:
1. Child maintenance - this is assessed along the lines of the child support agency calculations. It is not always necessary to involve the child support agency, as it is often possible to agree the level of child maintenance due and payable.
2. Top up child maintenance - there are cases in which the child will need more than the usual level of support. This may be due to a special medical or education need, including school fees or private nursery fees. This is calculated on a case by case.
3. Spousal maintenance - if there is a disparity in the relative income levels of you and your spouse then consideration can be given to bridge the gap. The responsibility of this will depend on a realistic assessment of each party’s income and outgoings. However, it may be possible to give you an early indication as to the likely amount that could be payable, and for how long, at an early stage.
4. Overall settlement - this takes into account all of the assets and liabilities held by both of you. Consideration is given as to a fair financial settlement based on, amongst other things:
§ Your respective needs, including those of the children of the family,
§ Your respective current and future earning capacity,
§ Any specific needs that either of you or the children may have,
§ A reflection of the standards enjoyed within the marriage,
§ Contributions made by either one of and possible future pension and inheritance prospects
We can advise you of which factors are relevant in your situation and give you an early indication of the likely settlement.
We are experienced at analysing your financial circumstances and revealing assets that may be concealed or hidden. We can also assist you in proving claims to assets held overseas that your spouse may want to exclude from the settlement.
We will at the outset advise you if there is a need for you to secure a financial injunction to preserve assets pending settlement.
For a free initial meeting please telephone 020 8909 0400 and ask to speak to any one of our family lawyers.
NB This is a general summary of the law as at the date of creation of this page. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.