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Fairness in divorce when your ex over spends

Fairness in divorce when your ex over spends can be hard to achieve if the assets of your marriage are limited according to Cheshire divorce solicitors Stonehewer Moss. When you separate it may be some time before the court imposes an order dividing the assets and there is the risk that your ex may over spend with the effect of reducing the size of the cake to be sliced between you. Accredited specialist in divorce finances, solicitor Michael Brennan, has 25 years experience and explains in this blog that the objective of the court in divorce is to achieve a fair outcome. But what if your ex is not being fair? Fairness in divorce when your ex over spends is an issue you may need to prove if disputed.

Michael says, “The Court in divorce has a broad discretion if agreement is not reached and a decision is needed. Although the Justice Council has published helpful guidance for those choosing to represent themselves, the first notice of court hearing requires each party to prepare a statement of issues and getting that right and legally coherent is not easy for non lawyers. If you are concerned your ex is reducing asset values by disposal to defeat or reduce your claim it can be best to seek an urgent injunction to set aside or prevent disposal. If it is a subtle form of overspend that cannot be easily set aside or prevented, a statement of issues might alert the court that you seek adjustment to add back the overspend. This, if proven, might persuade the court to adjust the distribution of assets so that you do not bear the reduced asset totals equally with your ex but receive more to reflect the over spend. The circumstances of your marriage will determine whether pursuing this issue to a contested hearing is sensible. The size of the assets to be distributed will label your divorce a needs base case or a sharing case; in reality, most people are in needs territory rather than having a surplus of assets that will be shared to avoid inequality between spouses and that might be said to be made unfair of there has been an overspend. If you unrealistically pursue add back by seeking to prove misconduct by your ex in a case where the needs of the two of you have to be met, you may find not only that you fail and have spent a lot of money and energy but also that the court takes the view you should pay the legal costs of your ex. Identifying the need for an injunction at an early stage in a needs based case is therefore essential. For example, spending from an account might be frozen and then agreed that it should be held by solicitors until settled. Fairness in divorce when your ex over spends is difficult to be objective about and advice from a solicitor is sensible as they have a perspective backed by experience of the court day in day out.”

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