The money conversation

Sally Clark Blog

Talking about money when you separate


Talking about money is rarely easy but it can suddenly become even more of a challenge when couples separate. It also becomes more urgent, particularly if one partner or spouse has already moved out and rented somewhere else, putting extra pressure on the family purse.


So how do you broach this difficult subject and overcome any hostility or secrecy that you might be faced with?


Married couples are required by law to provide full financial disclosure when they divorce. This doesn’t mean that both sides willingly give up that information and there have been many high profile legal cases involving hidden assets. However, the majority of cases are settled without the need to go to court. As family solicitors it is our job to negotiate on behalf of our clients to ensure that all information is shared about property, pensions, business interests and other assets and investments.


Meanwhile, during the divorce process it is possible to arrange interim financial payments to help meet everyday bills and extra expenses such as children’s out of school activities and car repairs. We can help you work out how much you need to meet these outgoings so that you can use this information as a basis for discussion.


Ideally, a couple will sit down together to agree interim financial arrangements. If this proves difficult, family mediation can help. An accredited family mediator will facilitate discussions so that agreements can be reached, avoiding the need to go to court which can be a costly and drawn out process. Mediation can also be useful when it comes to agreeing a financial settlement.


Another option for negotiating financial arrangements co-operatively, both long and short term, is Collaborative Law. This is a round-table approach to separation and divorce which brings the couple together with their respective collaboratively trained lawyers to talk through finances and other issues that need to be resolved. At the start of the process, all four of you will sign a “participation agreement” agreeing to resolve matters without issuing legal proceedings.


To find out more about family law services call Barnes Family Law on 01274 861 096.