Answers to Common Family Law Questions

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Family Law

Family law is one of the most delicate legal practices, and if you are facing a legal issue in your family, you deserve the best help you can get. Whether you are facing a divorce, child support, a custody battle, or complex financial issues, you are likely to have a lot of questions that need accurate and helpful answers. The questions below are commonly asked of family solicitors, and the answers should aid you in making crucial decisions. It is always best to get legal advice on these matters from someone who is qualified and who has extensive knowledge of the situation. With that in mind, please be sure to contact a qualified attorney in London if you need clarification or have additional questions.

Family Law

How Should We Handle Our Assets after a Divorce?

It is unfortunate but true that around half of all marriages eventually end in divorce. Divorce is a stressful and traumatic event for everyone involved. It may feel selfish to ask questions about assets when so many may be experiencing emotional distress as a result of the split, but it is something you absolutely have to consider. Divorce proceedings often result in intense disagreements over money and other assets, so it is best to start early and attempt to work collaboratively. If you are able to work together with your current spouse as to how assets will be divided after the divorce, be sure to formalise your agreement in writing. It may be best to get legal assistance with this to ensure that the document will be legally valid should a question ever arise. This will give you the freedom to make independent financial decisions with peace of mind. Without a legally binding agreement, your ex-spouse could file a claim against your assets, which would be stressful and expensive for both parties. It cannot be stressed enough that the best way to handle this situation is to get legal advice from family solicitors in London who can be sure that you get what you need, and that the agreement is legally binding.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

In recent years, collaborative divorce has started to become a popular way to handle this complex and stressful legal matter. In traditional divorce proceedings, both parties struggle to get what they want in potentially intense negotiations. This process can be long and drawn out, and will certainly frustrate and intensify the problems in what is already a difficult relationship. Collaborative divorce proceedings are designed to avoid any unnecessary stress for both parties. In a collaborative divorce, both parties and their legal advisors agree to cooperate in handling the divorce. Rather than aggressively pursuing assets, for example, discussions are held in which both parties are free to express their concerns. All are encouraged to treat each other with respect, which is quite different from the way many divorces are handled. This process also requires that both parties and their legal advisors sign an agreement that will prevent them from battling in court.

This is generally extremely beneficial to both parties, especially if there are children involved. Rather than making matters worse, you can reach an outcome that is agreeable and beneficial for the entire family. This will help you to prevent a further breakdown in the relationship, which would make matters difficult in the future. There is a good chance that a collaborative divorce will also save you some money since it keeps you out of court. That means that certain court documents will not need to be prepared by your family solicitor.

Unfortunately, however, collaborative divorce will not work for every couple, as it does require an honest and collaborative spirit. If you imagine that your spouse will not be cooperative during these proceedings, the process could take much longer, and actually turn out to be even more stressful. Of course, since the marriage is ending, you need to do what is best for yourself, so be sure to consider carefully whether this is the right option for you.

How Is Our Home Divided in a Divorce?

In the divorce process, you can easily split the money and time spent with children, but certain assets cannot be divided. If you only have one car, for instance, that obviously cannot be split between the two of you. The same applies to the house, which is a very valuable asset. How exactly is it determined who gets to own and live in the house?

In many cases, both parties decide it is best to sell the home, and then split the assets that become available. This prevents the need for negotiations on the matter, but it will not work for every situation. If you have children, the home may be the best place for them to live, and it may not make sense to go through the process of selling the home. In other cases, one partner will agree to allow the other to retain ownership of the home; however, this will mean that the party that takes the home also inherits the entire financial responsibility. In most marriages, income will be significantly reduced as a result of the split, and it may not be reasonable or responsible to take on the cost of the entire mortgage and home insurance. It would be wise to seek financial advice from a qualified advisor if you are not sure what the best move is.

Can I Prevent My Spouse From Getting Something I Want to Keep?

In any divorce, each party will have specific assets or belongings that they wish to be able to keep. You, too, likely have certain personal effects that you would rather not be given to your spouse or sold in the divorce process. Certain items may be fairly difficult to retain. However, it is entirely possible for you to keep other objects. Be sure to catalogue and photograph any items that you want to retain, and inform your solicitor. There may be ways to prove that you personally received these items through inheritance or gifts, and that could prevent them from being split in the settlement.