When couples are together, one party or both usually take care of the finances and household bills; however, sometimes the other never really follows what goes on. Once they are no longer together the party who showed no interest in the finances may struggle to manage his/her expenses and sometimes a lot of money may be spent on “feeling good”.
There is also the trauma from going from dual income to a single income and cash flow is important to make sure that the very basics can be paid to survive in the interim period which can often go on for several months to include mortgage/rent, utility bills, Council tax and so on.
People’s first step may well be to look to instruct a family law solicitor. However, too many make the mistake of not researching the family law solicitor and also not to plan their own finances. Separation and a divorce a very stressful time and it can also make a party very vulnerable and all of a sudden they have more financial responsibilities.
You need to have a plan of action to ensure that if you are thinking of divorcing that you will be in a sound position financially. You can start paying attention to your own bank accounts, the household bills and anything relevant to you. Preparing a schedule of your outgoings is also helpful. To understand your finances will help you better prepare for how life will change after the divorce; and what you will need to do to secure a fair and reasonable financial outcome.
It should also be a priority at an early stage to seek professional help from a family law solicitor. Ideally, you should meet your preferred family lawyer face to face to ensure that you can work with this divorce solicitor. The biggest mistake I see is someone to take on matters themselves or waiting too long before seeking divorce advice. Opportunities or options to resolve matters can be missed and mistakes can be made. It is also important that you budget for legal costs and to work with your family lawyer to ensure, as far as possible, that the costs are kept in check with what is at stake. On occasions litigation loans from a bank or an overdraft facility might be available to help fund a case.
It may be also appropriate to seek independent financial advice and a separate referral can often be made. This can help a party entering into a divorce to look at financial issues with added and separate specialism to include those relating to bank accounts, life insurance, pension options and so on. You will need to know what you are to face. A divorce lawyer can help you each step of the way; and you should be able to work as a team. Like anything in life, preparation is the key. Whilst there is tendency to look at what the other party may or may do it is always important to have your own house in order and that should include management of your own personal affairs.
Maguire Family Law is a specialist firm of Family Law and Divorce Law solicitors based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. We offer legal advice to parties going through a divorce including the financial issues which flow from this and children matters including child maintenance. We can also advise on Schedule1 Children Act 1989 applications.