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Will I get a 50/50 Split if I Divorce?

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Divorce financial settlements

Many people want the reassurance of knowing from their family law solicitor what their likely divorce financial settlement will be before they split up from their husband or wife. That is particularly understandable when you have dependent children and you want to know how they will be financially affected by your decision to separate from your spouse.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors

For family law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

50/50 divorce split

At your first meeting with your divorce solicitor, it isn’t always possible to say with certainty that you will get half the assets as your divorce financial settlement. You could end up with more than 50%.  That isn’t unusual where one parent needs more than half the assets to provide a home for the children or after a short marriage or where a husband or wife signed a prenuptial agreement to say that they would limit their financial claims to an agreed percentage.

At OTS Solicitors our divorce lawyers will identify what information we need from you or we need to obtain so that we can give you the specialist advice you require on whether you will get an equal split of assets as your divorce financial settlement.

Finding assets

To get an equal divorce financial settlement you need to be sure that your husband or wife has disclosed all their assets. For example, have they omitted to mention a savings account or a pension fund? Have they transferred ownership of an investment property or stocks and shares into a sibling’s name to try and reduce the value of your divorce financial settlement?

If you suspect your husband or wife is hiding assets you may need to start divorce financial settlement proceedings straight away. Your family law solicitor may need to ask extensive questions about your spouse’s financial disclosure to get to the truth or the lawyer may need to apply for a financial injunction order to stop assets from being sold or transferred by your ex.

Valuing assets

Assets need to be properly valued to make sure that an offer of half the assets is really half the assets. For example, the shares in a family business may be valued on the basis of the book value in company accounts. That may be very inaccurate if the assets were valued years ago or if the business has a healthy goodwill value that has not been factored in. Alternatively, you should not accept the face value of a pension, especially if the pension is a final salary scheme.

There are lots of ways in which you can be ‘diddled’ when it comes to valuing assets in divorce financial settlements. That’s why it is best to talk to a divorce family solicitor to work out which assets should be professionally valued and to check whether extra paperwork and financial disclosure are needed before the expert valuer can do their valuation report properly.

Family law solicitors will take into account the cost of valuing an asset and the benefit to be gained before recommending that you get an asset professionally valued. For example, you and your husband or wife may be agreed that the family home should be sold and that you should both get 50% of the equity. A valuation may not be necessary as you may both be content to rely on an estate agent’s appraisal. The situation would probably be different if one of you wanted to stay in the family home or if one of you was offering the other spouse a set amount as their share of the equity in the property.

Negotiating a 50/50 divorce financial settlement

When you are negotiating a divorce financial settlement you need to bear in mind your legal costs. For example, your husband or wife may be offering you 47% of the assets. You may think you deserve half the assets as there is no reason to divert from equality. However, if you start divorce financial settlement proceedings the legal costs may be more than 3% of the total asset pot. In addition, there is no guarantee that the court will order that you get half the assets or order that your husband or wife should pay all your financial court proceedings legal costs. Sometimes being a bit pragmatic is the best option unless you can call your spouse’s bluff and insist on half.

Getting a divorce financial court order

Once you have negotiated an equal financial split of your assets you need a financial court order from a family law judge. If the deal is agreed between you and your former spouse then it should be possible to secure a binding financial court order without having to go to a family court hearing. If you don’t get a financial court order then your ex-husband or wife could try to reopen your financial deal at a later date. For example, they could say that they need or want more money because the value of your shares in the family business have risen steeply whilst the equity in the family home (that they kept) has reduced because of a drop in property prices.

Legal advice on a divorce financial settlement 50/50 split

It is important to take legal advice on your divorce financial settlement even if you have been offered half. That’s because half may not be fair. You may need more than half. Alternatively, your ex-spouse may have told you that some assets are not ‘family assets’ and should therefore be ignored when calculating the total of the family wealth and dividing by 2.

A family law solicitor can give you expert legal advice on the meaning of family assets and non-matrimonial property to help you ensure that you end up with a fair split of the family wealth and that you have enough to meet all your reasonable needs.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors

For family law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

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