When meeting new clients who are facing marital difficulties we will generally discuss three main issues: the children, the divorce, and the financial arrangements.  The uncertainty of your future financial security or protection adds a significant additional stress to an already difficult time.  Consideration needs to be given to whether and what level of income and capital provision should be made for the less wealthy spouse and for the benefit of any children of the family.

A number of options are available to parties looking to resolve the financial arrangements with their spouse. If your case is suitable we will discuss the possibility of referring you to mediation, mediation & arbitration or the option of dealing with your case on a collaborative basis.   Mediators are independent third parties who will attempt to facilitate an agreement between the parties.  The collaborative process, on the other hand, is a process where both parties each have a lawyer, and both have a shared commitment to avoiding litigation. The process primarily entails informed discussions and joint meetings with both solicitors and parties present, for the purposes of settling all issues between them.

While the above options may be appropriate in some cases, in others they will not be, and in the first instance, your solicitor will instead seek to come to an agreement on your behalf through negotiations with your spouse’s solicitor. If this is not possible you will most likely be advised to apply to begin financial proceedings at Court.  A financial application to the court can only be made once a divorce petition has been issued.  As part of the court process, both parties are required to make a full and frank disclosure of their financial situation.  This is done on a document called financial statement.  Both parties must give information about their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities within their respective financial statement, which forms the basis of the negotiations between the parties.


If you are interested in discussing a a divorce please contact Ella L. J. Bernhard