Divorce – it happens to the best of us. Statistics show that in the UK there were 106,959 divorces of opposite-sex couples and 112 divorces of same-sex couples in 2016 alone. Although it is, of course, very sad to go your separate ways, it’s important to remember that your assets must be protected in divorce proceedings.
Here are a few words of advice about how a divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll automatically lose half of your assets. Here’s how you can best protect your finances in divorce proceedings:
Don’t Let Emotions Cloud Your Judgement
There’s often a lot of hurt feelings that come hand-in-hand with divorce. However, when it comes to protecting your finances, there’s no room for emotion and ultimately, playing a game of ‘tit for tat’ could be bad news for your assets.
Divorce isn’t cheap and sending short letters to each other through your divorce lawyers about trivial matters could end up costing you hundreds of pounds. Be savvy with your money and pick your battles carefully.
Get Your Property Valued
Almost all property can be divisible in divorce proceedings so the only way to get ahead is to know what your property is actually worth. How else will you get your fair share when you come to part ways?
Dividing your property is always going to be a complex arrangement, especially if you have contributed different amounts to your household. Take time to understand how your home can be divided, whether it’s putting it up for sale or arranging a buy-out.
Get to Know Both of Your Finances
In many households, there’s often one person who manages the majority of the finances and this creates a power imbalance when you’re negotiating settlements. Make sure you know both of your finances thoroughly – any hidden debt that’s incurred during the marriage could be owned by the couple, even if only one spouse signed the paperwork.
This is incredibly complicated so you should protect yourself by seeking advice from your divorce lawyers. They can advise you on how to make informed financial decisions when filing for divorce.
Also, consider your biggest assets – many people think it’s property but it could be a pension account. Bear in mind the court may take into account its future value when dividing assets, which would certainly affect you financially.
Mediation is the most cost-effective way of negotiating a divorce. It could help you reach an agreement by yourselves through direct discussions and allow you to negotiate a deal that works for you.
This could help you save money, although you may still need some independent legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances. This could include advice on financial proposals, the information you need, whether the practical arrangements will work and all of the necessary parts of your divorce settlement.
Mediation is an empowering way to keep some level of control over the proceedings and make sensible decisions after all the options have been discussed with your ex-spouse.
If you’re going through a divorce and you’re concerned about how it could affect your financial affairs, follow our tips on how to be smart with your assets even when emotions are running high. These can help you protect yourself and your future, to help you look forward to a positive new start.