This time of year sees a definite rise in people thinking about separating. This seems a daunting prospect for most and a leap into the unknown for many. Quite often therefore I am asked what would happen upon separation such as:
If I leave the home do I give up any claim to it?
No. What you are entitled to does not depend upon whether you live there or not. Having said that, you might want to stay put for other reasons.
Can I get my ex out of the house?
If there has been violence or threats of violence then the court can make someone leave. Otherwise, who stays in the house is usually resolved as part of the divorce or separation.
Can I change the locks?
In theory, either owner could do this. In practice, it could make an already bad situation worse leading the other owner to force entry.
Do we have to go to court about the children?
It almost always better if you can sort out the arrangements for the children between you both. Court should be a last resort. Before this you could try an alternative route such as Mediation or Collaborative Law.
Do we have to go to court to sort out the finances?
It is important that you have all the information about the finances of your ex to be able to try and agree a settlement. Once you have this, try to negotiate an agreement with the support of your solicitor, and think about other ways of achieving your goals like Mediation or Collaborative Law. Sometimes assets may be hidden or there might be some reluctance to provide all the information. If so, you should seriously think about going to court and getting specialist legal advice.
Is there anything I can do to stop assets from being disposed of?
Act quickly! The court can and usually will freeze an asset if it looks as though it might be disposed of, especially where it would be a significant part of the matrimonial resources.
Above all, make sure that you know what your options are by getting expert advice from the outset - for more information visit our Emsleys Family Law pages.
Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...