To mark D-Day, the beginning of the week when marital solicitors experience a surge in work, TakeLegalAdvice.com has asked divorce lawyer Suzanne Kingston, Head of Department at Dawsons Solicitors, for her Top 10 Tips For Credit Crunch Divorce.
Consider alternative dispute resolutions to avoid costly litigation during difficult economic times.
Be alive to bankruptcy issues when finalising agreements.
Valuing assets is increasingly difficult in the economic climate. When considering property valuations, businesses, stocks and shares, think about when a line in the sand may need to be drawn regarding the date of the valuation.
Issues such as redundancy/loss in bonuses/reduced income may result in the stronger economic partner applying to vary maintenance to his/her partner.
The effect of the Barder case – if a lump sum order has been awarded which results in a higher percentage of the asset base being settled over what was originally intended, it could potentially now be argued that the credit crunch is a “supervening event” and that this lump sum should be set aside and a new sum considered.
The economic downturn could result in an increase in divorce rates – money, or rather lack of it, is one of the main causes of marital strife. Indeed, a survey conducted by TakeLegalAdvice shows that the credit crunch is putting a strain on one in every four British relationships. In addition, there may be a feeling among the stronger economic parties that this is a good time to divorce since values are lower.
On the other hand, some couples may see this as a short-term situation only, and sit tight until they can “afford” to divorce. The TakeLegalAdvice survey suggests that 11% of Britons are being forced to stay in a failing relationship because of the financial crisis.
The current climate may make it less straightforward to consider the standard of living argument and formulate budgets based on reduced resources.
The economic situation may encourage take-up of prenuptial agreements, particularly in the wake of the Crossley case. Pre-nups could offer greater certainty in distinctly uncertain times.
At a time when you may be tightening the purse strings, ensure that you shop around for the right divorce lawyer for you.
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