When you are in the process of separating from your former partner, splitting up the assets of the relationship can be a very stressful proposition. It can be difficult to contemplate everything you have worked for over the years with your partner, and even before, being drawn into a joint asset pool and divided. Our experienced lawyers will assist you with the divorce property settlement process.
Clients come to us during many stages of the property settlement process. For some of our clients, the relationship with their former partner has broken down to such an extent that they are no longer speaking. Some of our clients get along very well with their former partners, and have the bones of an agreement when they first come to us. The general process of divorce property settlements can therefore vary. However, generally you can expect the following things to happen after you approach your family lawyer:
- We will ask you to attend a general interview with us to discuss your matter. After this we will probably ask you to send us some financial documents, and we might send you some follow up questions to answer. We will then provide you with a cost agreement, and if you agree we can start work.
First Steps – Financial Disclosure
The first step is usually for both parties to exchange financial disclosure. This material includes documents that are evidence of your financial position, such as bank account statements, mortgage statements, credit card bills, pay slips and etc. We will collate, review and send your documents to your former partner and then review theirs. This is important because it is required by the Family Law Rules, but also so we can get an accurate idea of the asset pool so the parties are agreed on what we will be negotiating. This may involve obtaining valuations from experts.
Secondly – Negotiations
Next, we will begin negotiations with the other party. This will usually involve correspondence between solicitors to narrow the issues in disagreement. The financial and non-financial contributions of the parties will be the focus. Sometimes, the parties will reach an agreement during this process, and this is what your solicitors should be aiming for, as litigation can be expensive and time consuming. This process may involve putting forward an offer of settlement. If agreement is reached at any stage, then the parties can apply to the Court for Consent Orders. This process requires the lawyers to draft orders that both parties agree to, which stipulate exactly how the property will be divided.
Thirdly – Mediation
If the parties do not agree, then a mediation can be arranged. This involves the parties coming together with solicitors in the presence of a neutral third party (the mediator). The mediator will assist the parties to reach a resolution or at least narrow the issues in dispute.
Divorce Property Settlement – Other Options
The final option is applying to the Court for the making of final property orders. Litigation is sometimes necessary but is best avoided because it can be expensive and time consuming.
At Koffels Solicitors and Barristers, we are experienced in divorce property settlements. We aim to take the stress out of the division, and lessen the unknowns. We have a particular expertise in complex commercial matters. If you have assets in a corporate structure, we can assist to provide creative commercial solutions to your unique situation.
We also are members of the Lawyers Associated Worldwide association and IR Global, an international professional service network. We have colleagues the world over, who can assist us in matters you may have involving property overseas.
If you require assistance in your divorce property settlement, please get in contact with our highly experienced solicitors today.