Q&A Should I agree to delay financial settlement when we divorce?

Q:      My wife and I are going to apply for divorce. We have agreed between ourselves that she can stay in the marital home with our son for now, provided she pays the mortgage. In return she has agreed to go for the new no-fault divorce rather than accuse me of adultery and goodness knows what else. I am living with my pregnant girlfriend, but I am worried that if we divorce before we have reached a proper legally binding agreement about the finances I could lose out.

A:       You are absolutely right to be concerned about leaving the financial settlement until a later date. Going through the divorce process alone costs money, who is going to pay for that?It is surprising how many people assume that the divorce process automatically includes sorting out finances and making arrangements for their children, which are both separate issues from the divorce.

Unless you obtain what is termed a ‘Clean Break Order’ at the time of the divorce, which draws a line under all the financial issues, you risk a claim being made by your ex in future years. Even when things appear amicable in a divorce, they often go sour further down the road, for example when one party begins a new life that the other resents. Agreements made informally between parties can never become legally binding without a court order. Further, if you are the respondent within the divorce proceedings and you re-marry, you will be barred from making any financial application in the future.

Before you make or respond to any application for divorce it would be advisable to seek advice from a family solicitor who can advise you on the various routes to take for the divorce as well as settling arrangements for finances and children.

This question has been answered by Alison Peters, a Partner with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Alison Peters

Alison Peters


A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry