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marriage break up advice

Options if a marriage break up occurs

| Published on February 15, 2016

So what are your options if a marriage break up occurs?

It is very painful when a marriage break up occurs, and your first thoughts are not often about whether you need to obtain legal advice, so why might legal advice be required?

Firstly, a divorce solicitor will ask if there is any chance of reconciliation?  If there is then marriage counselling might be where you need to start before you consider other options.

Unfortunately if there is no chance of reconciliation, then the options are either a divorce or separation.

Divorce or separation

Most couples simply separate and assume they are “legally separated”, and may not divorce or sort out anything out for years.  However if you informally separate and do not enter into any formal agreement, then you are both still married, just living apart.  Should one spouse come into some money, an inheritance for example, it is an asset that can be divided on a subsequent divorce, no matter how many years later.

To protect your assets, it is best to enter into a separation agreement when you separate stating that you will divorce in the future, but you wish to agree a financial settlement now.  This gives both parties certainty and the ability to financially plan their future.  This is particularly important if one spouse is remaining in the family home with the children, an agreement can be made as to when the house should be sold.

Immediate divorce

For some couples, an immediate divorce is the best option.  That dissolves the marriage and leaves each party free to move forward.  However a divorce by itself does not dismiss one spouse’s financial claims against the other, these must be separately dismissed.  It is a common mistake to think that the divorce by itself finishes everything.  Even if you have no assets, a clean break agreement should be entered into to protect any future assets.  The case of Mr Vince should be a warning as to what can happen if no financial agreement is made.

A divorce solicitor will be able to guide you through your options and what may be the best option for you when a marriage break up occurs.

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