The Early Bird
At the earliest point, we can assist in the process and preparation of Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements.
Carefully drafted and prepared, and with the appropriate precautions being taken these documents can provide substantial protection to many clients.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are no longer just for “the rich and famous”, but can now have a relevance and an application in the protection of assets for the middle income Client and also for those Parties bringing to a marriage/civil partnership assets in value greater than his/her partner.
This may reflect say an uneven contribution towards the family home that can be properly reflected in a Trust Deed. The asset difference as between the Parties does not have to be very substantial.
The benefit of this service is that we can use our experience to bring to you a scaled down version of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement that is proportionate and cost-effective to your financial position.
The Planned Divorce/Dissolution
The Separated Client
In addition to the preceding service for those Clients that envisage a long period of separation without divorce/dissolution petition, we can prepare Separation Agreements dealing with all matters of finance and which are enforceable as a contract between the Parties subject to conditions.
Often however, the best pre-divorce financial planning takes place unobserved and without notice to the other side and sometimes it may not be advisable to seek to formalise such steps in a legal process that necessarily requires the other side to take independent legal advice at that point in time.
It is difficult to over-generalise. Matters are dealt with on a case by case basis.
This is a comparatively new service introduced following the withdrawal of legal aid from financial matters in divorce/dissolution cases.
In spite of the introduction of Compulsory Mediation (at least one session must be attended but this with care can usually be circumvented) most divorce cases still involve solicitors costs to some extent. This is because the Mediator cannot advise you as to your legal position and therefore alongside the mediation process you will still need legal advice to ensure that your position is protected and that you are not agreeing to a proposal which is less than your probable legal entitlement.
In cases where settlement appears to be a realistic process we help the Client in the negotiation process with the other side. Unlike solicitors, we can approach the other side directly whether they are receiving legal advice or not.
Also unlike some solicitors, we do not seek to explore and exploit the differences between the Parties, to stir up antagonisms where they do not exist. We will help you to achieve the best result that we can but we do not encourage clients to pursue points of principle or blame unless it makes financial sense.
Sometimes you have no choice. If the other side or their representatives adopt an unrealistic position then, apart from accepting such position, your only option is to advance down the court route. We have experience in all these cases including taking complex matters as far as final hearing. This is our McKenzie Friend Divorce Service.