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Four More Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Divorced25th Nov 2016

by on 25th Nov 2016


In our last blog post we covered three of the biggest questions facing couples contemplating divorce.

But there are plenty more important questions you should be asking…Richard Perrins Partner Coles Miller

1. What About Your Savings, Investments And Pensions?

In considering a fair financial settlement, all assets, income and other resources will need to be disclosed.

So once you have decided to divorce, you will need to get your financial documents in order.

You will need to prepare a list of all your assets (home, car, jewellery etc) and debts (mortgage, loans, credit cards etc). Gather together any paperwork relating to your finances.

Make a budget for your expenses such as housing costs, food, clothing. This will help to decide who needs spousal support, how much and for how long.

We recommend that you speak with an independent financial adviser – even if you don’t have a great deal of money and have never spoken with one before.

They will give you important advice on the investment and tax implications of dividing up your assets and the best way to do it.

Pensions can be particularly important – and yet some separating couples consider them as an afterthought or in rare cases overlook them completely.

That can be a terrible mistake. You could lose out of a share of your spouse’s pension when they die.

If you are not still married when they die, you could get nothing – unless you have first put arrangements in place.

Do not go through with your Decree Absolute (the formal ending of your marriage) until you have settled the financial situation and reached a formal agreement either directly with the other party or through mediation.

In most cases, it is a good idea to have the terms of any financial agreement drawn up into a Consent Order by the Court.

This will provide for a clean break for both parties and ensure that neither party can make any future financial claims against the other.

And don’t forget to change your will to make sure it accurately reflects your new circumstances.

2. What About Your Insurance?

Home and contents insurance policies are an important consideration.

Your car(s) should be too. After all, your former partner may be a named driver on a policy. You will undoubtedly wish to change that.

And what about any finance arrangements for the vehicle(s)? The main driver of a car may not be the person paying for it. That will need to be resolved.

Even something as trivial as mobile phone insurance needs to be considered. You would be surprised how often this one crops up.

3. Will You Be Changing Your Name?

In theory the law allows you to call yourself by another name without needing to sign anything.

But in practice life is more complicated than that. You will need to sign a Change of Name Deed if you want a passport or a driving licence.

Both are essential – not just for foreign travel and driving a car – but also as fundamental proof of identity for a whole host of other things in life.

So don’t leave this until the last minute.

4. What About Visa And Immigration Status?

Not a question that concerns everyone but a vital one for those whom it does affect.

And one that is becoming more prevalent as globalisation makes the world a smaller place.

Suddenly not being married to a UK resident can negate any right that some foreign nationals have to stay in this country.

Applying for the right to remain in the UK is a time-consuming and expensive process so think about this early on.

For more information, contact Coles Miller family law solicitor Richard Perrins.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.