Finances on Divorce: Do you know what constitutes your matrimonial pot?

Do you know what constitutes your matrimonial pot?

Many clients who seek a divorce will know exactly the reasons as to why their marriage has unfortunately broken down, but are entirely unaware of the assets and liabilities from the marriage, and in some cases the salary of the soon to be ex!

Clients will often tell me “I never paid a bill. I never asked questions about our money. I never looked at our bank account. I never showed an interest because he/she did it.”

In an ideal world every person, no matter what the situation, should know how much is paid on the rent or mortgage. Every person should know all the information about their mortgage including if they can get a better interest rate. Clients should know why their credit bills are the way they are; their spouse's salary; if each spouse is contributing to a retirement fund and whether they have any investments? Even knowledge such as the costs of the daughter’s ballet classes or indeed the costs of the family’s holidays every year should be known….in the ideal world.  But in the real world, this information quite simply is not known by both parties to the marriage and ultimately, this impacts on the financial settlement of your divorce.

Many clients believe that where the other spouse is undertaking the financial responsibility of the marriage, such issues do not need to concern them. However to believe this and to act on it, is likely to be to your detriment. If your marriage breaks down, you will be entirely unaware as to the full extent of the matrimonial pot and you will not know what to even offer your spouse in terms of the financial settlement of your divorce.  

There is of course always the possibility of attempting to resolve disputes and achieve a financial settlement by voluntarily exchanging financial documentation with the other, either through mediation or with the help or solicitors, failing which, a compulsory financial disclosure stage can take place during financial proceedings. However in many cases, the likely significant costs, stress and time in dealing with the above can be avoided, where both parties are aware of the full extent of money to be divided and so long as your spouse is willing to be amicable, an early financial settlement can be achieved.

Don’t allow yourself to fall in to the traps and pitfalls of divorce: don’t put yourself through long and stressful court proceedings which could otherwise be avoided if you know what is in the matrimonial pot and can settle the matter early.

Plan carefully. Have strategies in place. Come and talk to us at Pinder Reaux and let us help you plan and achieve a swift and hassle free successful outcome to your divorce.

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Rebecca Antoniou

Pinder Reaux & Associates