Divorce- Can you afford not to seek legal advice?

  • Author: Gemma Thew
  • Posted on: 21st June 2018
  • Posted in: Blog

Statistics show that more cases which were once believed to have been settled by way of an amicable agreement between divorcing couples are now becoming part of contentious court battles. Old wounds are being re-opened as property prices continue to increase and parties are looking to take a larger share of the profits.

While the Decree Absolute may bring an end to your divorce the financial claims are still potentially available to make. These statistics shows that a claim may be brought years after the parties divorced if they did not enter into a legally binding consent order to record the terms of their agreement.

Example:

Imagine Mr and Mrs Smith who divorced in 2005. They did not have any children together, they had one property together and they each had a bank account with £5000. They had contributed equally to the property and bank accounts. These were the only assets owned by them.

In 2005 the equity in the property was only £10,000. Mr and Mrs Smith agreed that Mrs Smith would pay the £5000 in her bank account to Mr Smith and he would transfer the property into her sole name. This meant that both Mr and Mrs Smith walked away with £10,000 each. Mr and Mrs Smith decided not to draw up a formal consent order believing that it was an amicable arrangement.

In 2015 (10 years later) the property now has equity of £100,000. The increase has been due predominantly to the increase in the property market. Mr Smith’s savings have only increased by a modest amount having been put in an ISA account. Mr Smith now seeks more from the property.

Since Mr and Mrs Smith did not finalise their financial agreement Mr Smith can technically make a claim against Mrs Smith.If they had entered into a consent order in 2005 Mr Smith’s claims would have been dismissed and he would not have been able to seek a claim against Mrs Smith.

While the above example is not suggesting Mr Smith would be successful in his claim, this shows a very basic example of how circumstances can change and how important it is to take legal advice at the time you get divorced so you can be sure of your position and take whatever steps are necessary and available to you to protect against such future claims.

Please contact our specialist family solicitors on 01273 734 600 or by email at advice@crosbywoods.co.uk and they will be happy to see you for a free initial 1/2 hour consultation to discuss your family matter.

Gemma Thew, Solicitor