Does divorce make sharing ALL my financial information compulsory?
News that a man has been sentenced to jail after deliberately lowering the value of a house during his divorce is a salutary reminder of how both spouses must reveal all their financial information.
During divorce there is no avoiding a full and frank disclosure of each other’s finances. Neither you nor your spouse should put you head in the sand or believe you can squirrel away and hide assets or income.
There are three areas to consider in the disclosure when working out who has what proportion of the joint finances – and for how long.
- Assets – including savings, investments, property, shares, and businesses
- Income – whether you are employed or self-employed, along with dividends and interest payments
- Pensions – the type of scheme and value
Both you and your spouse are required to produce a completed form which sets out in detail all your finances. Standard requirements include providing details of all bank accounts along with one year’s worth of statements for each account. In addition, pay slips and other documents are required to confirm the accuracy of the information.
The next priority is building a detailed picture of the needs and requirements of you and your spouse, both now and going forwards. This protects both of you, ensuring you each receive a fair settlement for your financial situation.
Despite the introduction No-Fault Divorce in April this year, financial settlements continue on occasionsto remain more problematical and difficult during divorce proceedings.
We recommend you see an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible to obtain a good understanding of your financial rights and obligations.
Entering into negotiations without first understanding what you might be entitled to, or required to provide, can create an unrealistic expectation on you both and it may cause unexpected difficulties in the future.
It is important to resolve (either by negotiation or through the courts) all the financial issues before the Final Order (the legal document ending your marriage for good) is made to ensure that both parties are financially secure.
Planning your future finances may be the last thing you want to do at such a difficult time. However, reaching a financial settlement that is mutually satisfactory and will stand up to legal scrutiny remainsa priority.
Giving clarity and certainty to you and your spouse, finalising the financial issues between you enables you both to look forward with security, optimism, and peace of mind.
For queries on financial remedies or any aspect of family law, call us on 0113 246 0055 (Leeds), 01423 276104 (Harrogate), or 01904 202550 (York). Visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @helpwithdivorce