Posted March 14th, 2013
Cuts to the legal aid budget that come in next month are going to leave many vulnerable families deprived of vital services that only professionals can supply.
I can’t really understand where the government is coming from on this one. Often when cuts are imposed there will be some alternative offered. Yet in this instance the legislation comes in and will leave many people in difficult situations with nowhere to turn; and let’s not forget that there will obviously be a lot of children caught in the midst of all this. So much for the welfare of the child is paramount.
One reputable firm of solicitors – Stephensons, the largest family law team in the North West – are making provisions to help those that are in a vulnerable position. The help on offer to those families whether they may be divorcing, parents in adoption cases or parents trying to resolve contact disputes will include a fixed fee service and a flexible ‘pay as you go’ service. Both services will ensure that, at the very least those facing having to pay for their legal repressentation will know where they stand from a cost perspective.
I also offer a free 30 minute consultation and have a lot of experience in helping people work through their finances on divorce whether that is helping you get a fair settlement or implementing a pension sharing order. If you feel that you may be affected by the changes in legal aid then why not get in touch for a free 30 minute, no obligation consultation.
Posted March 4th, 2013
Not a good idea. Of course it may seem unfair to have to declare assets that were acquired before you got married; or assets that were solely paid for by you during the marriage, but the fact is if you aren’t up front about your finances during divorce then you are risking a spell in prison.
According to a survey by Co-operative Legal Services, 25% of those who go through divorce will hide aspects of their finances from their soon to be ex-partner. And here’s the really surprising thing about this survey – the survey was conducted online and involved around 800 divorcees and it found that women are more likely to conceal money and possessions during a divorce.
From a little research on the good ol’ worldly wide web, it looks like most divorces are initiated by women. Stats abound from anything between 55% and 91%. So what are we to glean from this? It does make for depressing reading. You could take the view that women view marriage purely as a move to make financial gain. Whereas I’ve no doubt that it’s true for some, it surely can’t be true for anything more than a minority. That would be highly cynical.
I think it points more to the fact that many people marry the wrong person and do it too quickly; and as it is often the mother whom the children will live with, you may imagine that she may feel justified in hiding financial assets from an estranged spouse. After all, she’s only doing it for the kids. Morally justifiable it may be, but it is illegal and you are putting yourself in contempt of court if you do this. The whole point of settlements is to make sure that both sides have the chance to put their lives back on track. The best way to ensure that there is a fair outcome is to be completely open and honest. If you’re made an offer you aren’t happy with then you don’t have to accept it. On the other hand if you’re made an offer that you don’t know if you should accept or you want help with negotiating then get in touch.
I am a Resolution Accredited IFA and as such I am in a position to help you get a fair settlement without risking prison!
Posted November 20th, 2012
…..and that figure is unnervingly low. There are nearly twice as many women over 50 without a pension when compared with men over 50.
It seems clear then, that many women are not even asking the question upon agreeing a divorce settlement. It is more important now than ever before that the question of sufficiency in retirement is tabled during in settlement talks. It is just as relevant as child care and the split of matrimonial assets.
It’s pretty straight forward. If you have sacrificed a career to raise children, or even settled in a job just to help make ends meet within the marriage, there is a fair question of income equalisation after retirement that needs to be asked and answered.
I am an IFA with expertise in the field of Pensions on Divorce. If you are going through a divorce and need advice, or if the issue has never been raised for you and you feel that this is something that you would like to talk about then please get in touch:
Image credit: flickr.com/tax credits
Posted August 22nd, 2012
An interesting development with Divorce Lifeline – www.divorcelifeline.co.uk.
It is interesting to note some of the claims being made by the company in relation to pensions and also their credentials to be in this market in the first place.
However, there is a growing trend towards looking at the settlements that clients are getting and it is in the divorce solicitors best interests to look at how a pension settlement is arrived at.
As a Resolution Accredited Independent Financial Adviser, I do see many mistakes made and we are here to help.
Posted August 15th, 2012
I am pleased to confirm that I have been re-accredited for a further five years, having recently completed the process via Resolution.
In order to qualify for re-accreditation I had to show that:
- I am a paid up affiliate member of Resolution.
- I am currently regulated by the FSA to provide Independent Financial Advice
- There are no matters affecting my competence or fitness to be held out as an accredited specialist of which Resolution should be aware.
- I have never been convicted of an offence in any court of the UK or elsewhere (other than a motoring offence not resulting in
- I continue to undertake a minimum of 36 cases per annum, or 150 hours family law case work each year and provide evidence of this for the preceding 12 months.
- Confirm that Resolution may approach a designated person for a reference in relation to the standard of my expertise.
I also had to provide the following documentary evidence:
- A schedule of case work for the 12 month period prior to my re-accreditation, demonstrating the 36 cases or 150 hours per annum
minimum casework required, and the name of the solicitor or mediator with whom I worked, or from whom the case was referred.
- A written reference from a referring family lawyer confirming the work carried out during the preceding 12 months, and that
the work was satisfactory.
- Details of my Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record for the preceding 5 years showing at least 8 hours of CPD in family law and practice topics for each year.
- The fee required by Resolution.
As you can see there is quite a lot involved in getting Reaccredited and we are serious about helping our clients get the best settlements possible. Don’t you owe to yourself to make sure the IFA you work with is this qualified.
If you want to talk please call 0800 092 1229 or email me – email@example.com
Posted July 26th, 2012
This is insanity!!!!!
Divorce isn’t quite the ugly word it once was. It’s worrying that it has crept in to society with a creeping normalcy. Death by a thousand cuts if you will. These days, if you are in a marriage that has stacked up a good share of air miles, particularly if it’s a first marriage, you are in somewhat of a minority (or at least a blissfully silent majority). Bitter ex-wives, greedy ex-husbands. Mud slinging, smear campaigns, petty (often unfounded) accuations, mysterious hidden bank accounts (so well hidden that even the accused has no idea about them). Where does it stop????
Divorce may be the end all, but it certainly isn’t the be all. So things didn’t work out and your dreams of co-habitual bliss have fallen by the way side? That doesn’t have to be forever. Nobody wants a lengthy drawn out divorce, yet couples increasingly move on to the playing field and stay there long after the final whistle should have been blown – the level of injury time would make even Sir Alex Ferguson blush:
This grab all, keep all or destroy all mantra that besets otherwise reasonable, rational individuals almost appears comical – that is if it were not so tragic. If we took two people (often it could be argued that there is really only one arbitrator behind the proceedings) who were fighting an issue out in this way outside the realms of marriage and divorce dispute, then surely psychologists would be brought in to assess the mental health of the individuals involved. In other words, under what circumstances is it ever ok for two, grown adult human beings to think it’s ok to behave this way? However, when the finances aren’t quite up to this sort of level, another more sickening form of leverage takes its place:
This report may be somewhat sensationalist. Yet it’s hardly surprising. Children are often used as leverage in a divorce with both parties claiming “I’m putting the children first!” Destroying childrens relationships with the respective paternal and maternal familes is tantamount to abuse. It’s unjusitifiable and has to stop. I believe it’s high time the courts and authorities started taking these matters a little more seriously. In fact, scratch that. The courts are already clogged up with petty squabbles between divorcing couples with often less sense of reasoning than the children involved. It’s actually more accurate to say that the adults involved need to start acting like adults.
A smooth, bloodless divorce is not a bad thing. I would never advocate divorce generally. But if a divorce is inevitable (and some things can never be reconciled or forgiven – that’s life) then I can help smooth the path and get you what’s right and fair. However, if your ex-wife or ex-husband is intent on entering in to battle with you then all I can say is don’t join in. The war will carry on without you.
Image credit: flickr.com/O5com
Posted March 9th, 2012
Where businesses are involved in divorce there are a raft of considerations which need to be thought through carefully before a financial settlement is concluded. However with the right type of pre-planning and thought reasonable settlements can be made, and time and resources used to rebuild assets into the future.
The first consideration should be to taxation and it should be noted that for the purposes of Capital Gains Tax it is the date of separation that is generally more relevant than anything happens within the divorce itself
The key here is that where a transfer is made in the same tax year as the separation there will be no taxable capital gains or losses for that matter, for the transferor. When considering the asset position of the business or partnership it is important to check ownership particularly in relation to shares or the individual asset in relation to a partnership.
Possible solutions may involve the purchase of shares or the sale of property to enable the financial settlement to be concluded.
Care needs to be taken where pensions hold assets of the business. Often we see shares and properties occupied by the business held and owned by the pension scheme.
Therefore further thought needs to be taken on how these assets are dealt with.
This is an extremely complicated area of financial settlements on divorce and it is essential that you get the right team around you to assist your negotiations. In my opinion, this would be a family lawyer, accountant and independent financial adviser.
If this is an issue that affects you please call in confidence on 0800 0921229 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted December 20th, 2011
I am pleased to announce that the Resolution Accredited Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) have been given a nice gold logo to use to distinguish them from the family lawyers and this is now proudly displayed on our website.
As one of only ten advisers in the North West with this designation I am extremely proud of this qualification.
If you would like advice in respect of pensions and your divorce financial settlement or pension sharing why not call us on 0800 0921229 or email email@example.com.