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Why must my financial settlement be recorded?

Reaching an amicable financial settlement with your former spouse has many benefits. However, it is important to remember that these agreements still need to be recorded with the court.

We often meet clients in circumstances where they have been divorced for many years, but their financial agreement was not recorded with the court. This means that their former spouse can make financial claims against them, even years after the divorce.

Sometimes, when a separating couple is relatively amicable, they’ll agree to divorce without seeking legal advice. Their divorce may then be finalised, and their financial arrangements agreed, without their financial settlement being formalised. This means both parties retain the right to make claims against each other in the future.

For example, if you and your former spouse agreed a division of your assets at the time of your separation, but did not record this formally with the court, and then you received an inheritance, a lottery win or a compensation claim, your former spouse could seek to receive a share of this.

If financial claims are not properly dealt with at the time of your divorce, your former spouse could also seek a share of your property, a cash lump sum, a share of your pension or spousal maintenance from you. The fact that several years have passed since your divorce does not prevent these claims, only a financial settlement that has been properly recorded by the court can.

The other risk of failing to record your financial settlement with the court is that your former spouse may be permitted to make a claim against your estate when you pass away. Resulting in your estate not being divided between your loved ones as you intended.

It is vitally important that you seek specialist family law advice in relation to financial matters regardless of how amicable your divorce is. This will help avoid the risk of having financial claims brought against you in years to come.

Harrison Drury have an experienced team of family and divorce lawyers in Lancashire and Cumbria. If you would like to speak confidentially to the team about any family law matter, contact them on 01772 258 321.

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