Financial Implications After Divorce
Financial Implications After Divorce
Vanessa Lloyd Platt (Divorce Lawyer) gives expert video advice on: Why must I declare any current plans to remarry or live with a new partner?; Will my ex still have an entitlement to any of my assets if they remarry?; What financial support or benefits might be available to me following our divorce? and more...
Why must I declare any current plans to remarry or live with a new partner?
In any divorce settlement, and in any disclosure documents, you have to say whether you're going to live with a new partner or marry them. The reason is because their income and capital is also taken into account. So for example, if you're going to live with someone and they earn lots of money and they're going to pay toward your bills that will leave some of your income free to pay to your ex-partner or it will mean that if you share a home with your new partner, there is more money to go to your ex for them to buy a home so it is something that is terribly relevant to any divorce settlement because it gives more money in the pot to go to your ex.
Will my ex still have an entitlement to any assets if I die?
Your ex will have an entitlement to your assets if you die if there is ongoing maintenance. What that means is if you're still paying a monthly sum to your wife or your husband, and you die, they are entitled to claim against your estate because they are a dependent of yours and entitled to go on receiving the money. So if you've married again, it doesn't stop them from claiming against your estate; which means they might be competing with your new wife or new husband.
Will my ex still have an entitlement to any of my assets if I remarry?
If you remarry, your ex most certainly will have an entitlement to your assets. Your new partner may have assets, which means that your ex could go back to court to get an even bigger entitlement to maintenance. So the fact that you remarry does not end your obligations to maintenance or finances towards your ex. Even if you have a new child or several new children with your new partner, will not stop your obligations towards your first partner. It might lower it, you might be able to put down the maintenance, but it doesn't stop it.
Will my ex still have an entitlement to any of my assets if they remarry?
If your ex re-marries following a divorce and they were receiving financial maintenance on an ongoing basis, that maintenance will stop. If you were paying lump sums over a period of time, that financial contribution won't stop.
What financial support or benefits might be available to me following our divorce?
Following your divorce you may be eligible for certain benefits. Certainly if you have children you will already be getting child benefit. But you could also be entitled to working persons benefits, child tax credits. If you're a person under disability, you might get some disability allowances and other allowances, generally. But I would check with the department of Work and pensions to see what eligibility you have for any form of benefits at all. There are very few people that now qualify for income support, because the rates are now very low, indeed. If you're getting any support from your partner you probably will not be entitled to any form of income support.
What else do I have to do to cut the ties between us?
If you're really going to cut ties following a divorce, not only do you need to deal with the finances and where you're going to live, but how you're going to divide up the chattels in the house. For example, who will get the lawnmower? How are you going to divide up the crockery, the cutlery and the silver collection? Be sensible about financial division after a divorce. Make a list. Don't involve the lawyers. Sort it out amongst yourselves. It's a lot cheaper and a lot more sensible.
Will my ex have any entitlement to my business?
In any settlement, all the assets are taken into account, including the business. The longer the marriage, the more of a claim on the business your partner will have. You cannot ignore that. You can't say, "Oh, you can't have any claim on my business." A lot of husbands tend to do that in divorce proceedings. It's not true. All assets are put into the pot. And one of the important things we do when we look at this is: what is the value of the business? What are the value of the shares? And how can you get out your rightful share from that business?
Will my ex have any entitlement to my future earnings?
In any settlement, the court must also look at future earnings of both parties. If a wife has given up the right to her earnings by looking after the children, she will have to be compensated for the loss of those earnings. To do that, the court will now look at the future earnings, and if there isn't enough capital to go around to give her her settlement up-front, then they will give a wife a share of the future earnings. It's a very difficult proposition of law, but they are starting to do it.
Will my ex still have an entitlement to any of my Pension following our divorce?
An ex will always be able to have a claim on the pension because of the Pensions Act that came out a few years ago, and on divorce that is an aspect that will always be looked at. What sometimes will happen is that you'll split all the pensions in two, or you will trade off. That means you'll keep your pension but you may give her a bit more or him a bit more of the house or other assets to compensate them. Pensions are always taken into account in these circumstances.
What do I do if I feel the financial settlement in my divorce was unfair?
There is very little you can do if you feel the financial settlement in your divorce was unfair. If it really was wrong and your divorce lawyer was negligent you may have to sue them in negligence to get the correct financial settlement compensated to you. If, on the other hand, you just feel the divorce settlement wasn't quite right, you can always go back to court for more maintenance if you are receiving ongoing maintenance. However, there's not a lot you can do once an award has been made, if you've been given the house, or you've been given some of the shares, or you've been given some of the financial assets, or an amount of maintenance. If you think the financial capital is wrong, you should speak up at the time.
What do I do If my partner has been lying about their assets?
If you discover that your partner has actually been lying about their assets, and it's significant – in other words, they've been lying about quite a lot of assets – so it would have affected the settlement at the time, you can go back to the court to re-open your settlement. If they are found to have been lying, they will be ordered to pay the legal fees of your having done so.