Redundancy and Divorce: Jefferies Advises Couples Affected by Job Loss

Posted on August 25, 2020
Woman on sofa looking sad

To say that life in 2020 has been turned upside down by COVID-19 is an understatement. As we now leave lockdown behind and start returning to work, it’s clear that few companies have emerged unscathed.

According to the Office of National Statistics, have lost their jobs during lockdown. A quick investigation into online search trends alone shows a steep rise in people seeking advice on redundancy since March, as many employees have unfortunately faced the reality of being let go from their job as a direct impact of the pandemic.

Graph showing increase over time Jefferies Solicitors

Source for graph. 

Besides the financial loss, associated with losing a job redundancy can have also a negative emotional impact on those that have been let go, which in turn may even take a toll on their marriage or civil partnership. Unfortunately, and as we are aware the impact of the virus also increased the number of victims who were being subjected to domestic abuse, significantly.

At Jefferies, we are here for all individuals, albeit those who have suffered from redundancy or those who have suffered from problems in their personal relationships. Here, our Family Law Department offers answers and guidance for everyone who finds themselves in this situation.

How does redundancy affect marriage?

For couples sharing financial responsibility of bills, having a partner face redundancy is a harrowing experience. This financial pressure can put stress on a relationship, emphasising pre-existing issues between the couple. Sadly, any children involved are also affected as a result.

Besides the financial worries associated with redundancy, losing a job can also be mentally challenging, often leaving the individual feeling like they’re at a ‘loose end’. Spending more time with their partner in this mental state can lead to more disgruntlement or bickering than usual, even leading couples to consider separation. The Family Department at Jefferies had an influx of enquiries during the lockdown period from couples, who started to see the cracks in their relationship more visibly, due to the increasing amount of time they were forced to spend together.

If you’re considering a divorce or dissolution, but would like to do this with the least conflict as possible, get in touch with one of our Solicitors for advice. Our priority is to calmly mediate any issues throughout the process to make this as smooth as possible, achieving the best outcome for the entire family.

Does redundancy affect divorce arrangements?

As every scenario surrounding a divorce or dissolution is different, so is the impact of redundancy on each case. A redundancy may be taken into consideration when it comes to deciding how the matrimonial assets are to be divided, but it really does depend on the individual circumstances of each case. That’s why it’s always recommended to have a Solicitor from the outset to discuss your personal financial circumstances, to see how it may affect your divorce arrangements.

There will be cases when both parties will agree on how assets will be divided, but a redundancy package may ‘rock the boat’, particularly when this was not one of the issues in dispute when negotiations took place.

It is important for you to remember, although the settlement will be reached now, before signing any orders it is important for you to ensure the agreement will be ‘doable’ and will give you the financial stability and security you had during the course of your relationship.

If you are worried about how redundancy can affect divorce proceedings, you should contact a Solicitor as soon as possible to take a thorough look at these documents.

Can a redundancy package be split in financial divorce settlements?

Whether or not a redundancy package will be shared between both parties in the divorce is very circumstantial, so there is no simple yes or no answer. It can depend on factors such as when the redundancy took place, how both parties have shared other assets, and what view the Courts will take.

In some situations, you may be able to argue that the redundancy package belongs solely to the person that it was offered to. This can sometimes happen when the package was received after the separation (such as if living apart for a number of years), and when it’s clear the funds were clearly given to help that person until they find their next job. So, if you are in a circumstance where you believe your redundancy package should be ‘ring-fenced’ and treated as a separate asset, you may wish to consider speaking to a specialist and seeking advice as to how best to go around the issue of the redundancy payment.

In contrast, if your partner was unexpectedly made redundant and you are suffering from the consequences of it, we would urge you to seek advice on what your rights and entitlements will be to it. Unfortunately, as much as we may not like to believe it, it is often the case that one party will hide their assets from their ex-partner, particularly when they now divorce proceedings are being issued. In a ‘traditional’ family arrangement one party may not have any knowledge of their partner’s financial circumstances. For the safety of yourself and your loved ones, it is critical to get a Solicitor by your side to not only review any agreement reached  in more depth before signing the dotted line but to ensure a fair and reasonable agreement has been reached.

How can Jefferies help you with redundancy and divorce?

Our specialist Divorce Law Department is experienced in dealing with redundancy and divorce issues, and is here to help you reach a ‘fair’ financial settlement, when it comes to the stressful task of deciding how your assets should be divided. Whether you are a couple seeking advice of the next steps, or an individual seeking confidential advice in respect of your legal rights and entitlements, we can offer you the guidance and resolve that you need to move arrangements in the right direction.

Our golden rule is to always minimise any conflict, so you can trust us to always be impartial, honest and fair. We are particularly sensitive to cases where children are involved, and have our Family Law Department aligned to ensure your loved ones are as least affected by this as possible.

If you have been affected by redundancy and need some peace of mind at this time, contact our specialist Divorce Department on 01702 332 311 or send your enquiry.

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