Lead Forensics
Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

Family law

Dividing Financial Assets

As separation and divorce lawyers, the Family Team at Prettys have advised many people over dividing financial assets. Here our divorce solicitors look at some of the main issues.

How should our asset base be divided?

Firstly, you and your ex-partner should agree, or investigate, the values of assets and liabilities to determine what exists and what it is worth.  Do not overlook pensions.  The majority of couples will seek to divide their assets on what they mutually agree is a fair basis, having regard to their respective worries and concerns.

What should we be thinking about?

You will need to think short and long-term.  The agreement should be contained in a financial Order that the court will approve.  The court looks for certainty – ie, who is going to get which asset and when?  It is difficult to leave agreements open-ended until an unknown date in the future because much can change unexpectedly during that time and one party could end up disadvantaged even if this was not intended.

If we cannot agree and one of us applies to court, what criteria will the court apply to divide our assets?

The court considers all the circumstances of the case, gives first consideration to the welfare of any children of the family under the age of 18 and, in particular, has regard to the following matters:

The aim of the court is to achieve fairness.  Often the key factor is the reasonable needs of the parties involved but where assets allow, provision can be taken past need and shared.  In most cases the courts no longer have power to make orders for child maintenance except by agreement.  An application to the Child Support Agency has to be made for child maintenance to be assessed if it cannot be agreed voluntarily between the parties. 

Do I need a solicitor?

Yes.  You need to have a clear understanding of the nature of your claims against your spouse and whether the court will approve the agreement you hope to make.  Our Talking Works service can assist you in reaching an agreement direct with your spouse.   If you cannot agree, you need to understand how the court may treat the assets that you and/or your spouse have and how the court may divide these.

What should I do next?

Contact the Family Team in Ipswich on 01473 232121, request a call back from our divorce lawyers here or e-mail us here.


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