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Divorce Financial Settlement Solicitors

If you are dealing with a divorce or separation, Harrowells team of divorce solicitors and family law specialists are here to achieve the best outcome for you.

It is vital to understand where you stand legally before committing to any proposals, and it is advisable to get family law advice from a divorce lawyer at an early stage before any decisions are made.

At Harrowells, we offer initial confidential appointments to all new clients so that you can discuss any concerns you have, work out with your solicitor what your main objectives are and find out the best way to achieve them.

The process for obtaining a divorce financial settlement can seem confusing and intimidating, with lots of paperwork and legal details you need to get right. Our divorce lawyers will guide you every step of the way and provide all of the family law services you will need, making sure everything is done correctly, so you can formally end your relationship as smoothly as possible. 

We will also adopt a style that best works for you. Divorce does not need to be antagonistic and it doesn’t mean that we cannot work amicably and constructively. What we will do is set out the options for you and let you tell us how you want us to handle things for you. 

We know that every divorce is different and separating your life with your ex-partner can feel like an impossible task but our experience allows us to effectively manage even the most difficult and narcissistic divorces.

Read our Guide to High Net Worth Divorces.

Contact our expert divorce financial settlement solicitors

We are physically based in Yorkshire but we regularly assist clients throughout England and Wales because of our recognised expertise and effectiveness in advising on all aspects of family law.

Our divorce financial settlements solicitors are very happy to hold a meeting with you by phone or video call, so please email advice@harrowells.co.uk to set up a meeting.

For more locally based clients, we can meet you at one of our network of offices across North and East Yorkshire in York, St SaviourgateClifton MoorHaxbyEasingwold, Thirsk, Pocklington or Malton.

Why choose Harrowells for your divorce financial settlement?

At Harrowells, we have a strong team of family and divorce solicitors, who are supported by the wider team. You will always deal with the same members of staff who make it a priority to get to know you and your circumstances.

Whether you are keen to reach an amicable divorce financial settlement or if you anticipate that court proceedings may be required, we can offer the seasoned expertise you need.

As a firm, we have been recognised with a number of awards and accreditations, including by the Legal 500, an independent annual assessment of the top law firms in the UK.

Securing the right financial settlement can often be only one aspect of a wider set of issues, particularly if you have children and need to consider arrangements for their care and support. We can ensure that you receive expert advice that reflects and addresses all these concerns. The advice you receive will be fully co-ordinated to achieve the right outcome for your particular situation.

Read more about our full range of Family Law services

Divorce financial settlements client testimonials

We pride ourselves on adopting a focused and pragmatic approach and draw on a range of negotiating styles to achieve the right outcome for you. Read what our clients say about the expertise, support and commitment we bring to our work:

“Thank you for all your help along the way in giving me the confidence to stand up for what I am entitled to and frankly coming away with a far better deal than I would have accepted.”

“You have represented me brilliantly, have offered very astute insight and counsel, and I have felt really supported by you. You've undoubtedly been the best 'fit' of a solicitor for me.”


Our financial settlements service

Divorce and Property

Your capital and property assets are likely to include the following:

  • The family home (often referred to as the former matrimonial home)
  • Other properties, such as buy to let investment properties and holiday homes
  • Savings, shares and investments
  • Businesses – such as shareholdings

What will happen to the family home is likely to be your first concern as this is often the most valuable assts.  There are options other than sale, for example we can look at offsetting this against other assets, deferring the sale to a date in the future or a buy out of the other party’s interest.

Pension Sharing

Pensions are often one of the most valuable but also the most overlooked of the assets.  Every pension has a value to it (often referred to as the cash equivalent value or CEV) and this should be obtained for every pension arrangement you have.The information is then usually referred to a pension actuary, who can provide details on how the pension should be shared or offset against other assets.

Divorce and Business Assets

In the same way as property is, business interests are taken into account as part of a couple’s matrimonial assets and should be divided fairly upon divorce or dissolution.  Your interest in the business will be valued and the level of income you generate will also be looked into before options for division or offset can be reviewed.

Family court judges are generally unwilling to disrupt the running of a business by splitting its assets if an alternative can be found. Therefore, a popular option is to allow one partner to keep the business whilst the other gets a greater share of the assets and/or spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is paid to the lower earning spouse by the other and is paid in circumstances in which they are maximising their earning capacity but are not able to meet their reasonable needs without support from the other. The higher earning spouse must have surplus income, after meeting their day-to-day needs.

Child Maintenance

This is governed by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS formerly the CSA) and a useful tool is the calculator on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance

Unless the paying parent earns over the threshold, the family court will not get involved in calculating child maintenance and agreement you may reach will only last for 12 months when the CMS will take over.

Options for achieving a financial separation during divorce

Financial matters tend to be arranged in parallel to the procedural aspects of divorce and the vast majority of financial settlements are successfully negotiated via solicitors without going to court. The agreed settlement will be made legally binding by applying to court for a ‘Consent Order.’

If we cannot reach an agreement in this way, you may consider attending mediation which is a precursor to applying to the family court (though this is not always appropriate and there are exemptions) or via arbitration.

We have considerable experience helping clients come to amicable agreements, negotiating settlements which work for every member of the family, even in complex scenarios involving businesses, agricultural matters, high net worth individuals, and overseas property.

The majority of our cases are resolved by consent, but if a court application is required then we will support you and protect your interests. The court process can be beneficial in cases where there is delay as it puts in place a formal timetable, and in divorces where one party is or has demonstrated narcissistic traits.

Divorce Financial Fees

Our divorce financial settlement solicitors believe firmly in costs transparency so we will discuss the cost and fees up front and ensure that we have a pricing plan in place to suit your budget. We will discuss with you the option of fixed fee divorces and deferred fee arrangements to ensure that it remains affordable for you to instruct one of our divorce solicitors.

Our divorce financial settlement fees

We offer our specialist family law advice on a privately funded basis and this means we are unable offer to our services on a ‘Legal Aid’ basis. We know that our clients don’t want to be surprised by solicitor bills, so we are open and realistic with you from the outset about how much we think your case will cost.

Splitting finances in divorce explained

What am I entitled to in divorce?

The law operates on a principle of fairness when it comes to the division of money and property upon divorce or dissolution. An equal division of the capital assets between the couple is often the starting point, particularly in longer marriages where there are children.

However, in reality, one spouse is usually in a better or worse financial position than their former partner and, in these situations, a financial order where there is an unequal split may be required to meet needs and achieve fairness.

Does everything get split 50:50 in divorce?

No, it is very rare that an equal division is reached once full disclosure has taken place.  This is just the starting point.

What is a reasonable divorce settlement?

A financial order which takes into account all of the factors set out in law which include earning capacity; financial needs and resources; standard of living; ages and length of the marriage; and contributions and obligations.

Where there are substantial assets to consider, it may be worth seeking financial advice for a divorce settlement from a professional financial adviser. They can assist with issues such as setting up a new pension and any investments that need to be made.

What assets are included in a divorce settlement?

All of your assets will be considered, but it may be possible to exclude non-matrimonial assets (such as inheritance or monies that you had before you started your relationship) but that will depend on other circumstances.

Before reaching a financial agreement for divorce, you and your ex-partner owe each other a duty of “full and frank disclosure”. This means you should be totally open and honest about how much money and property you own, including: income, investments, savings, dividends, property, pensions, and any other assets or liabilities you may have.

Once you have exchanged financial disclosure, your solicitor will be able to offer divorce financial advice and give you guidance on reaching a financial settlement.

Does the length of a marriage affect the divorce settlement?

Yes, the longer you have been married the more likely it is that your settlement will be close to 50:50.

Can I divorce my spouse and keep everything?

No this is very unlikely as your spouse’s needs will need to be met.

Will a prenuptial agreement be enforceable during divorce?

A prenuptial agreement is essential if you have more at stake than your spouse. Whilst they are not cast-iron, it is very difficult for your ex-partner to get out of the terms in a prenup if they have been properly entered into and if their reasonable needs are met.

How long does a divorce financial settlement take ?

The average case takes 6-12 months, but this will depend entirely on the situation and, unfortunately, there are no guarantees over the timeline for a divorce settlement.

Can you get a divorce without a financial settlement?

It is possible to finalise your divorce or civil partnership dissolution without a financial settlement, however, this is not usually recommended. Simply ending the marriage or civil partnership does not prevent either party from making a financial claim further down the line.

Is there a time limit for financial settlements after divorce?

At present, there is no time constraint for ex-couples to pursue financial settlements after their divorce, which means that many individuals face the possibility of their former partner initiating a financial claim against them years after the marriage has ended.

To avoid any issues caused by the lack of a time limit on financial settlement after divorce, it is generally recommended to secure a Clean Break Order which cuts all financial ties between you and your former spouse.

Divorce and finances insights from Harrowells


Contact our expert divorce financial settlement solicitors

Looking for advice for a divorce settlement? Our divorce financial settlement solicitors can arrange meetings at any of our offices, over the telephone or via video to suit you.

To arrange a meeting by phone or video call, please email advice@harrowells.co.uk.

For more locally based clients, we can meet you at one of our network of offices across North and East Yorkshire in York, St SaviourgateClifton MoorHaxbyEasingwold, Thirsk, Pocklington or Malton.