Going through a divorce or separation is never easy, that goes without saying.
The emotional and psychological effects can be significant for all involved, not just for the two people who are separating. This includes children, friends and family members, meaning that everything must be handled sensitively and sensibly wherever possible.
Managing the separation of finances can sometimes find its way to the bottom of the list of priorities, but getting this part of the divorce right is crucial to both sides.
Firstly, it’s important to work out exactly what must be paid, such as financial support in the form of ‘spousal maintenance’, in addition to any child maintenance.
One way to protect against financial difficulties with all of this, is to go down the cheaper route of reaching a ‘voluntary arrangement’ outside of court.
A voluntary arrangement is an agreement between both parties about what should be paid and by whom.
Mediation can help with this option, which can be a good move for everyone…
…because if at all possible, avoiding going to court can really make a difference financially.
The cost of a solicitor is a big concern for divorcing couples, and so it can be really beneficial to agree as much as possible with your ex partner before seeking the advice of a solicitor. Try to take advantage of solicitors who offer free advice as well, even if it’s only for 30 minutes at a time.
If possible, you could also try to work with solicitors who offer a fixed fee, to make sure everyone knows exactly how much everything is going to cost ahead of time.
If you find yourself struggling after the divorce, even with regular spousal maintenance, there are certain circumstances where more maintenance could be granted by the court.
These include if you’ve been made redundant, if your ex-partner has received an inheritance or if they’ve moved in with a new partner and seen their household income increase.
These all fall under the heading of ‘varying the court order’, but a solicitor will be able to advise if and when it’s actually worth going to court to pursue this in the first place.
For the partner paying spousal maintenance or support, it’s important to contribute as much as you’re legally obliged to, or as much as you can on top of that, but it’s even more important to protect yourself from getting into debt as a result of paying maintenance you can’t afford.
The first step with any of this is talking…
…talking to your ex-partner and then talking to a solicitor, as varying the court order can work the other way round as well.
There’s no easy way out of a divorce, it’s a challenging and life changing thing to go through.
Managing or guarding against financial difficulties though, is one way of making the process a little smoother…
…so, clue yourself up on what must be paid, when it must be paid, and who it must be paid by.