The Family Law Team at NBB Solicitors, will manage all aspects of your financial and settlement disputes relating to your divorce and separation. One of the first things that people want to know in such matters, is how much they are entitled to. This of course, depends on the nature and circumstances of the marriage.
You might find it helpful to have some clarity on the different ways of negotiating financial settlements. The first step is identifying the right process for you and your partner.
1. Client-led Negotiations – You can reach an agreement with your ex-partner on your own accord and then ask a solicitor to make that legally binding as a contract. If this option is possible, it is for both parties who have civility, and are amicable in working out matters between themselves. This process will be quite easy and straightforward, providing you are in agreement.
2. Solicitor-led Negotiations – You can appoint a solicitor to discuss and negotiate your settlements on your behalf. It is sometimes an easier option for those who do not want to be directly involved with partners or their partners’ solicitor. An experienced and empathetic solicitor will always take great care to ensure that your wishes and instructions are presented well throughout the process. This holistic approach of a Collaborative Divorce may suit you. If it does, our Family Law Team are grounded in the core values of exceptional care for our clients.
3. Mediation – Couple and family mediation can be an invaluable way to discuss and come to an agreement relating to children and finances. Although mediation is voluntary and doesn’t involve the Courts, it does, however, mean that full disclosure of your finances is expected. Mediation will help you clarify issues and explore your options for settlement. If and when an understanding is reached, this is recorded in a document. This document isn’t legally binding, but you can have it made so with the help of a solicitor if you wish.
4. Collaborative Divorce – The collaborative process involves you, your partner and lawyers to both parties, making a commitment to resolving the matters between yourselves, without the Courts’ involvement. The Courts involvement will only occur for the legal formalities of the divorce and the binding financial settlements reached. A collaborative approach allows you and your partner to set an agenda of what is really important to you. The benefits are:
- You each get a chance to speak openly and be heard by everyone.
- The process is open and is one where transparency is key to its success.
- You can ask questions and have answers right there and then. This minimises misunderstandings immediately.
- This also cuts the costs of otherwise lengthy legal correspondence between the parties’ solicitors.
5. Arbitration is a voluntary flexible, confidential process used for resolving all types of disputes. It is often used in Family Law disputes, particularly financial matters. Although it is a voluntary process, it becomes binding on both parties once the process begins. There are advantages to using arbitration:
- It is a less formal process than the court trial route;
- It saves time and is less expensive than going to court.
- Not only does it save time, but it is also flexible with no time constraints as would be imposed by a court due to their strict timetables for court dates and hearings.
- Arbitration serves you well in private and confidential matters, as everything is done in a highly confidential manner, unlike the Courts where it’s open to public and press.
- You get to choose an Arbitrator suited to your needs who will be an expert on the relevant matters raised by you and your partner.
6. The Courts are sometimes unavoidable and it can be beneficial to some people with complex cases. However, choosing the court process doesn’t have to involve confrontation or aggression. It could simply be that the parties would prefer the structure that the Courts offer in settling matters on their behalf. But, it could also be the best option for those who are at an impasse, where all other processes have failed.
Where there is a stark disagreement on the division of finances, an application can be brought to the Court to make that decision for the parties. This is called a Financial Order. A Financial Order can be made in the U.K as well as in overseas jurisdictions.