Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Question and answer session with Alison Barnes of Barnes Family Law
Q: Do we have to attend court to sort our financial matters?
A: not necessarily. If the parties can reach an agreement between themselves, with the assistance of solicitors or with the assistance of mediation, then attending court isn?t always necessary. If the parties reach an agreement they can set that agreement out in an order and send this to the court, without actually having to attend court.
Q: Is it true that we automatically split everything 50/50 when we get divorced?
A: There isn?t any set answer to this question. The court has a wide discretion when making a financial order within divorce proceedings. Each case is decided on its merits using a variety of factors, some of those factors being the length of the marriage and the needs of each of the parties. There are a list of criteria which the Judge will consider and apply those criteria to the specific facts of the case.
Q: What sorts of orders can the court assist me with where financial matters are concerned?
A: the court can make orders under three headings; capital, income and pensions. The court will try and ensure that all parties needs are met including having enough money to live on each month, provision for retirement and to ensure parties have enough capital to be reasonably housed. The court of course take children?s needs into consideration before making an orders.
Q: What happens of we own a house and we aren?t married?
A: There is an entirely different set of rules when the parties are unmarried. The key factor is on which basis the house is owned. If the house is owned jointly, with each party holding 50%, then the proceeds of the sale of the home would usually be split equally.
If the parties had financial assistance from family members, or one of the parties set out that they hold a bigger proportion of the house when the house was purchased, then things become a little more complex.
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