Getting divorced can be an emotional and stressful time; however you also need to be organised and pragmatic in your approach. Managing your emotions during this time can be extremely challenging.
One of the first things you need to do is think about yours and your partner’s assets. Although this may sound obvious, you need to list all of your joint and sole assets that you and your partner own. The main asset will always be the former matrimonial home, so that will be your starting point. Once you have your list you will need to put a value on those assets. Valuing your assets at the start and conclusion of your case is always key.
Valuing your assets can either be straight-forward in that you know the value and you can place the correct value yourself, for example cars, furniture, and other household items. Sometimes you will need a third party to value the asset correctly, for example, former matrimonial home, other properties, businesses, pensions and jewellery.
It is imperative that you instruct the right expert to value the right asset in order to ensure that the value of your assets is accurate; it is only at this stage that you will be able to consider what a reasonable settlement is. The risk you run of not valuing your assets accurately is that you may undervalue them which will have a detrimental impact on your final financial settlement.
The difficulty arises when we look at what the Courts consider as a matrimonial asset or non-matrimonial assets. Non-matrimonial assets generally apply to assets acquired by one party before the marriage, inherited assets and assets acquired post-separation. Matrimonial assets are more easily identified. Unfortunately there is not set criteria in what the Courts look at when considering what assets are non-matrimonial, it all comes down to the circumstances of your case.
In certain cases consideration needs to be given to the ‘needs’ of both parties. It may be that non-matrimonial assets need to be considered in order to satisfy both parties’ needs, especially when it comes to housing needs.
Valuing your assets during divorce can be difficult especially when dealing with all your other emotions. If you have recently separated and are considering divorce you will need assistance from a family solicitor in particular when you are dealing with valuing your assets.
Thursfields Solicitors have a specialist family team and have many offices across the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors won ‘Family Law Firm of the Year’ award for the Midlands at the Family Law Awards in 2018.
Please contact our Black Country Offices in Halesowen or Sedgley on 0121 227 3850 to arrange an appointment with our family specialists Jasdeep Nagra or Pamela Arrowsmith. Alternatively you can email Jasdeep on firstname.lastname@example.org or Pamela email@example.com.