Legal Advice - Q&A

By EssentialsMAG legal advice contributor CAROL McGUIRE

Financial Provision Within Divorce

Question:

My Husband is a wealthy man but he has never been willing to discuss his finances with me in the 35 years of our marriage and I have no access to any paperwork. I am thinking of divorcing him but I don’t know what to do in relation to our finances?

Answer:

Before commencing proceedings, you need to secure some legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in divorce and issues of finance. You need to do this sooner, rather than later, due to the fact that you do not want your Husband disposing of assets to avoid claims brought by your good self.

A solicitor would first of all write a letter to him or his solicitors, requesting disclosure. By disclosure, we mean that he has to produce paperwork to show his financial position. So, if he was employed, we would need his last P60 and copies of his last three payslips. If he is self-employed then we would need to see his last two years sets of account.

We would then ask for 12 months of Bank Statements for every Bank account he has opened, albeit in his sole name; jointly with another, or in the name of his business, or his Company/ies. He would be expected to produce a list of his savings, eg. produce copies of all passbooks; certificates; correspondence in relation to the same. If your husband has pensions then we would need the up-to-date current transfer value of all of them, as this is of special importance. We would also ask if he has any prospect of inheritances, because this is relevant, in as much as were you still together at the time such is received, then you would have benefitted from such. He also needs to produce a list of any other assets, eg. the surrender and maturity values of policies; ISA’s ;Peps; Shares: securities/guilts etc.

As for the matrimonial home, we would need to find out in whose names/it is and if in his sole name then we would register a restriction at the Land Registry to prevent your husband from trying to sell the same before we reach financial agreement. The same information would be sought of any other properties he/jointly with another/in his business name or if the property is owned by a Company.

Only when all of this is available can you be properly be advised as to what your entitlement is.

Carol McGuire, Thomas Andrews, First Floor Suite, 5-7 Church Street, Wrexham LL13 8LS

Victoria Lee