Please rotate your device

How To Agree Your Finances

Posted: 17-03-2021

Following on from my series of blogs on Positive Co-parenting and Giuseppe’s blog on Consent Orders, I have been asked to set out my top tips for reaching a Financial Settlement directly with your ex-partner.


  1. Keep it professional – you need to keep your business head on when negotiating finances. You cannot let your emotions rule. You need to remain calm, prepared, and precise. It is a good idea to meet outside of the family home, in a public place, and to meet specifically to discuss the finances.  If you want to, agree an agenda of what you are going to discuss.


  1. Make sure you have full disclosure – you cannot reach an agreement with your ex-partner unless you know exactly what finances there are. Therefore, full financial disclosure is essential. Insist on seeing documentary proof like bank statements or annual statements. Then agree a schedule of assets. This will then help negotiations.


  1. Be prepared – look into how much it will be to rent or buy a property in the area, as well as what mortgage you can raise, before you start to negotiate a settlement with your ex-partner. Then you will know exactly what your options are.


  1. What is your priority? – Do you want to keep the house? Or your pension? Do you want to rent or buy? Working out what is important to you will enable you to get the settlement that is right for you.


  1. Make sure you think long term as well as short term – do not be tempted to just think about what is right for now. Ensure that you have a plan in place for the future as well. Think about retirement, or when the children leave home.


  1. Be realistic and flexible– there is only one pot of money, and so it will be hard to make it stretch to pay for two households now. Both of you will therefore inevitably have to reduce your standard of living and make compromises. Successful negotiations always need flexibility. If you go into negotiations with a rigid mindset, then the talks will break down very quickly.


  1. Don’t think you can sort it all out in one meeting – people need time to think through their options and make a decision. Do not put pressure on your ex-partner to agree something.


  1. What about the children? – Do not forget the children in your negotiations. The financial settlement should be one that prioritises the financial needs of any children and ensures a stable home for them, hopefully with each parent. A settlement should involve as little change as possible for them so try to enable them to attend the same school and possibly even stay in the same home or homes if realistic to do so.  If it is not affordable or best for them for another reason only discuss agreed changes with them once agreed and ideally together.


  1. Do you need professional help? – It can be very hard to negotiate a financial settlement with your ex-partner as emotions inevitably get in the way. Often there is also an imbalance in power with one person knowing more about the finances than the other, and so worries whether everything has been disclosed. If you feel you cannot negotiate with your ex-partner then contact us to find out more about how we can help.


  1. Make sure that any agreement you have reached is incorporated into a Consent Order by a lawyer- If you do not have a Consent Order, then your financial claims upon Divorce have not been dealt with. This will mean that either of you may be able to come back at a later date to pursue these claims.


Sousa Law are expert Divorce Solicitors in Southampton. If you require help and advice concerning divorce and financial settlements and would like to discuss how we can help you, please contact us on 02380 713 060 or to book a Free Initial Consultation.


By Nicole Biggs