Going through a divorce is a sensitive and overwhelming matter, especially when costs come into conversation. Taking the right steps can help to ease the financial burden, however. Anita Hennessey of our Family Law team in Worcester offers her five top tips for clients.
Consider a pre- or post-nuptial agreement
One of the best ways to avoid high costs, court proceedings and uncertainty in terms of financial settlement upon divorce is to enter into a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. Recent case law means that the court are upholding pre- and post-nuptial agreements that are properly drafted and advised upon by solicitors.
Some may think this is rather unromantic, but it is important to remember that these agreements do not come into play unless you and your spouse separate. Therefore, if you remain in a happy marriage there will be no change in how you choose to deal with your finances. We insure against many risks in life, and with more than one in three marriages ending in divorce, it is sensible to insure against the risk of marital breakdown, which can be one of the most expensive life events.
In a relationship that does not involve allegations of domestic abuse and where there is not a controlling party, it can be extremely cost-effective to consider mediation. This is where a trained mediator will try and assist you with reaching financial settlement; the costs savings are far reaching.
Where you wish to reach an amicable settlement, but do not feel confident in doing so without a lawyer, finding a collaborative lawyer may be a good middle ground. There are many locally trained family lawyers who can work collaboratively with your spouse’s lawyer to achieve an out of court settlement.
In circumstances where it would not be appropriate to consider mediation, court proceedings do not have to be the answer! Preserving family relationships and saving costs where possible is key, so using litigation should be the last resort. We will always try and negotiate with your spouse’s lawyers in the first instance with voluntary exchange of financial information.
If all else fails, find a good family lawyer
If you find yourself in an acrimonious situation, ensure that you find the right lawyer for you. Family law is extremely personal, and you need a trusted lawyer who can work with you to achieve the right settlement in the most cost-effective manner.