THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN ON RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN

The breakdown of the relationship is hard on the adults involved: it is harder still for children who may not be mature enough to understand what is happening to their world. We can help you to manage your relationship breakdown with the least possible negative impact on the children.

Children benefit from security and stability. The breakdown of their parents' relationship can rob them of that consistency which they have previously enjoyed. As a parent you can do many things to provide your children with the best possible transition upon the breakdown.

1  We encourage you to agree the arrangements regarding the time which the children spend with each parent. This gives you, your partner and the children certainty about when they will see each parent.

2  The children need to know that the relationship breakdown is not their fault. They need support with the understanding that the difficulties are between the adults.

3  The children need to know that they are still loved by both of their parents.

4  The children need to be able to value both of their parents and love both their parents. Children should not be dragged into the argument between the parents.

5  Clear defined arrangements for the children's housing provides the best security for the children. By agreeing the financial arrangements you can remove uncertainty and give the children the best start going forward.

Obtaining legal advice at the outset can help a great deal in providing you with information about the options available. We can assist you in reaching an amicable resolution to the plan for the future arrangements for the children.

However, it is not always possible to discuss matters with your partner. It is not always easy to agree things. You may have been "at odds" within the relationship. The breakdown of the relationship may magnify those differences. The emotional impact of the breakdown can make discussion and agreement seem impossible.

You may also experience difficulties in that even though you are both parents, you may each have a very different parenting style. Individuals can have strong views about what they think is best for their children and this may not coincide with the view taken by the other parent.

We strongly recommend that if you do have differences regarding the future arrangements for the children you should attempt to explore the possibility of working towards an agreed arrangement by way of mediation. We can refer you to a mediation firm.

If you simply cannot agree on a way forward regarding the arrangments for the children we can advise you upon your best options going forward. If your dispute needs to be resolved within the court process we can represent you within that process to ensure that your position is put most effectively within the court arena.

FINANCES ON DIVORCE

There are rules about finances on divorce as opposed to the breakdown of a relationship. Please see our separate page on the breakdown of a relationship. When the relationship breaks down the financial problems centre around the fact that the money which had supported one household now has to support two distinct households after the separation takes place. This is not an easy economic problem to resolve.

There are distinct areas of the finances which need to be considered:-

1  Housing is often the most crucial aspect of the financial arrangements. Both parties to the relationship need a roof over their head and the children need a home. For many couples their main asset is their house. This is often where the majority of the capital is tied up. Deciding whether to sell the house in the light of circumstances may be difficult particularly if the house is also the home for your children. We can help you consider the options in respect of the house including whether it needs to be sold and as to who has what.

2 If there are savings or other assets of value then these need to be taken into account and divided. Often disputes can arise as to how much these assets are worth or whether they are actually assets of the relationship (such as where the money is from an inheritance or was the money of one or other party before the relationship). We can advise upon these other assets.

3  If one or the other of you has a pension then you need to consider whether there is entitlement to that pension by the other partner. Pensions are included as matrimonial assets if that pension or part of it was accumulated during the relationship. We can advise upon the pension entitlement and how it can be dealt with.

4  It is necessary to consider whether in your case there will be ongoing maintenance payments by one party to the other. There are still situations where spousal maintenance payable by one partner to the other going forward. This is separate from any maintenance for the children and usually arises where one of the parties is earning a high salary compared to the other. In many modern relationships spousal maintenance will not be a consideration going forward as the benefits system provides a method whereby the income of one party in supplemented to the extent that maintenance is not an issue. We can advise upon whether the spousal maintenance needs to be considered and can provide information as to how this can be dealt with.

5  If there are any children then child maintenance needs to be considered. Maintenance for the children is calculated by the set formula set by the Child Maintenance Service. Whilst it must always be considered in situations where there are children of the relationship it is not part of the overall package of the finances on divorce in the sense that child maintenance is no longer a matter which can be decided by the court along with the other aspects of the finances on divorce. We can advise upon the obligations for maintenance based upon the CMS formula.

We can help you to understand the way in which your finances would be formally considered; what you are entitled to and what is in reality possible in terms of the financial split on your divorce.

We will do are best to help you to reach an agreement but if you can't we will represent you within the court process and ensure that your case is effectively presented to acheive the best outcome for you. We will always continue to help you to reach a suitable agreement even if the matter is within the court process.

If you do reach an agreement upon your finances it is important that any agreement is formalised by way of a court order by consent. Unless you have a formal sealed court order your agreement may not be binding.

The legal status of marriage gives rise to formal claims between the parties to the marriage upon divorce. The claims continue until such times as they are dealt with by way of a court order. It is important that upon divorce you obtain a court order which provides the Clean break which ends the ongoing potential financial claims upon the divorce. 

MAKING A WILL

When your family circumstances change and your relationship breaks down it is a good time to consider your testamentary wishes and to make provision for those you care about in the event of anything happening to you.

You should consider your position BOTH when you separate and again when you are formally divorced.

Please contact us for an appointment to discuss making a Will.

FURTHER ADVICE

If you need further individual advice please call us on 0115 947 4486 and we can discuss your problems in more detail