If you and your partner are able to decide on the division of your assets either directly, or with the aid of mediation, we can help to convert your agreement into a binding and enforceable court order.
A voluntary divorce settlement becomes legally binding when you apply for a consent order through court and have this approved by a judge. In this situation, neither of you have to go to a court hearing and the process is usually faster and less expensive than litigation.
We can also constructively negotiate either by correspondence or through round-table meetings with your partner, spouse, or their solicitor. This can happen outside the courtroom, often with the help of mediation and collaborative law, to help you achieve a suitable settlement.
In the event that your separation is more complicated – or you own more complex assets – you may have to go to court to achieve an appropriate outcome.
If this is the case, we can assist you during every step of the journey from applying to court, to supporting you with the paperwork and court hearings, to helping you to consider how to fairly split your assets. If required, we can also help with decisions about matters such as child maintenance payments.
At Harbour Family Law, we offer an initial consultation of up to one and a half hours to discuss your financial settlement needs.
During this appointment, we will be able to provide you with initial advice while going through the options available for your settlement. We will also be able to provide you with an estimate of how much your legal proceedings will cost for your case. When it comes to financial settlements, we charge an hourly rate, and this rate varies depending on which member of our expert legal team is working on your case. Get in touch to book your initial consultation today, and to find out more.Book your initial consultation
If you and your partner have managed to agree upon the split of your assets yourself, your solicitor can draft a consent order and liaise with the court to make sure this Is approved by a judge. Alternatively, if you cannot agree, your solicitor can assist you in applying to the court for a financial order. A court order is important as if you do not make your financial settlement legally binding, your partner could dispute the split of assets at any point further down the line.Speak to an expert
Your family home is often the biggest asset being considered during the financial settlement process. We will consider the up to date value of the property, and advise you on the best course of action. This may differ depending on both parties' wishes, the circumstances of the case, and any the other assets which are being divided. Your home may be sold, and the net proceeds split between you or, if one of you wishes to remain there, the equity could be offset against other assets where applicable. You may also reach an alternative agreement whereby you or your partner may move out for now but when the home is sold at an agreed date In the future the money will be split appropriately.Speak to an expert
''After ending the disappointing services of a previous law firm, who were acting for me with my divorce and financial settlement, I was recommended to Harbour family Law. I made an appointment with Fiona Greener; this was the best decision I made. After having my first meeting with Fiona, I came away feeling I was not alone. Fiona was superb, her experience, calm reassuring approach and professionalism shone through. The court hearing was something I was dreading but Fiona was so well prepared, and I was so grateful to Fiona for her choice of barrister. They were the dream team at the hearing and the day concluded with a very successful result for me. I cannot thank Fiona enough and all the team at Harbour Family Law.''
During financial settlement negotiations, each party has a duty of full and frank financial disclosure. This means every asset that you own must be disclosed and valued in order to have informed negotiations.
Every divorce is different, and the complexities of each case can cause huge variations in the length of time the entire process will take. Usually, we would recommend allowing six to ten months from start to finish, for the more straightforward cases.
Every case is different, and this will depend on the assets involved and your personal circumstances. We would be happy to discuss this with you at our initial meeting so you can make informed decisions about the progress of your case.
It is usual for each party to pay for their own legal fees. If you need to instruct a joint expert, such as an actuary who specialises in pensions on divorce, most people will divide the cost of this equally. In some cases (such as if one person refuses to cooperate) you may be able to seek a costs order obliging them to repay some or all of your legal fees.
Legal aid for family law disputes is now only available in a few limited circumstances, for example, in instances of domestic abuse. Harbour Family Law are not able to offer legal aid. If you think you may qualify for legal aid, you should make enquiries with a firm that offer this service to see if you are eligible.
A clean break financial settlement is the term used to describe the division of property, savings and any other assets, with no ongoing payments being made between you and your partner. Once a clean break order has been finalised, neither party will be able to make any further financial claims.
Our goal is to create a comfortable and uplifting environment where clients can visit our family lawyers in Bristol, Portishead and Clevedon and receive expert legal advice that makes sense.