To wait or not wait?

Posted on November 24, 2016

Not all separating couples have a massive bust up – some simply grow apart – but in a country with limited options for ‘no fault divorce’ couples can often find themselves in a tricky situation in relation to finances.

The only way to tie off finances between married couples is to obtain a court order but in order to access the court the divorce process has to have been initiated. For couples who have agreed to wait two years and obtain a divorce by consent, this leaves them with very limited options if they cannot agree on the division of assets at the point of separation and even if they do agree, whilst the terms can be set out in a separation agreement, they are not necessarily binding upon the court if one of the parties later makes a claim against the other. There is also the issue of Capital Gains Tax to consider – where a sale of the former family home takes place more than 18 months after one of the parties has moved out, that party is no longer able to rely on the exemption for primary residences and their share of the sale proceeds may be subject to Capital Gains Tax. This is especially relevant in cases as outlined above where a couple has waited to divorce on the basis of two years separation and delayed dealing with finances until that time.

If you and your spouse are considering separating and are concerned about the financial implications, then contact Jefferies for some no nonsense advice on what you are and are not entitled to and how to best protect your assets.


Brooke studied Law with American Law at the University of East Anglia, spending her third year abroad studying at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her Legal Practice Course at the University of Law, Bloomsbury, London. Brooke joined the firm as a Trainee in the family department in July 2014.

In Work

Since joining the family department, Brooke has assisted both the Head and the Deputy Head of the Department. She initially gained experience in all areas of divorce, ancillary relief and financial matters before moving on to gain experience in children matters, both public and private, including involvement in cases brought at the High Court.

Brooke is a member of the South Essex Junior Lawyers Division and has recently been appointed as a member of the committee for 2015.

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