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The day that your divorce is finalised can underline the end of a painful chapter and mark the beginning of a fresh start.

 

However, receiving your decree absolute, may not quite be the end of your legal journey. There are still a few considerations to make sure that your interests are protected, and your new beginnings can commence with peace of mind.

   

What is the Difference Between a Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute?

 

A Decree Nisi is a legal document from the court to confirm that you have met the legal and procedural requirements to obtain a divorce in England or Wales. Following Decree Nisi, you are not officially ‘divorced’ and are still legally married. After a 6-week period the person applying for the divorce can make an application for the Decree Absolute. This is a separate legal document confirming that the marriage is dissolved granting you both single status.

 

Our Family Law specialists share some insight into other areas that divorcing or divorced individuals should give thought to before starting afresh…

   

Financial Clean Break

 

It is important to recognise that a divorce alone does not end financial obligations between spouses. Whilst your relationship has finished and you are legally divorced, finances can still be entwined unless a financial provision order is applied for. This is usually done in between Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute to severe any financial ties.

 

Failing to obtain a court order, which contains a “clean break”, can leave the door open for an ex-spouse to put forward a financial claim many years later. Some separating couples are on amicable terms or are in agreement about how their assets are split, however, circumstances can change and it is not uncommon for financial claims to come out of the woodwork once one party moves on with a new partner, comes into money or one party finds themselves suffering financially.

 

Obtaining the order is relatively straightforward and provides peace of mind, for both sides, enabling them to move on with their lives without looking over their shoulder.

   

Getting Your House in Order

 

Your property is usually one of your biggest assets and it is highly likely that you have already agreed on how your marital home (or any other properties that you own) will be split.

 

Once your divorce is underway it is often time to address your property ownership. Depending on your circumstances, and what you have agreed during your divorce negotiations, you may be transferring the ownership over to one party or re-mortgaging, you might be putting your house on the market or entering into an agreement regarding the split of sale proceeds for when the property is sold (which is sometimes the case when young children are still living in the family home).

 

You can keep all your legal affairs under one roof by instructing Lamb Brooks to carry out the conveyancing and legal aspects relating to your property.

 

Re-Writing Your Will

 

Many people decide to amend or make a will before their divorce has finalised, as they want to ensure their legal affairs are in order if they die before getting divorced. Others will wait until their divorce is finalised to update their will or write a new will reflecting their circumstances.

 

If you held joint or mirror wills with your ex husband or wife, then the divorce will not automatically invalidate your will. However, your ex-spouse will be treated differently if you passed away and they remained named in your will, for example they could not be your executor or receive any gifts, but they could still remain a trustee for any trusts for the benefit of the children that you have together.

 

If you are in a new relationship or re-marry, then it is certainly sensible to re-make a will to protect your assets and ensure that your estate is dealt with as you would have intended.

   

Financial Freedom

 

Your finances are likely to change somewhat after divorce. You may be going from two incomes to one, you may have lump sums paid to you upon divorce or the sale of property or you may be in receipt of spousal maintenance.

 

It is sensible to seek advice from a financial planner or adviser so that you can understand how best to plan your finances, budget and prepare for the future.

   

Protecting Yourself in New Relationships

 

If or when you find yourself in a new relationship it is important to consider whether you need to protect your assets.  There are documents that you can draw up to help give you peace of mind should you consider moving a new partner into your home, moving into a new home together or getting re-married.

 

Depending on your circumstances this could be resolved by the introduction of a Declaration of Trust, a Cohabitation Agreement or a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. It is best to speak to a Solicitor specialising in Family Law to help determine which option would suit you best.

   

Legal Advice From Lamb Brooks Family Lawyers

 

Whichever stage of separation you are at, the team of Family Solicitors at Lamb Brooks can help give you detailed guidance and specialist advice based on your family circumstances.

 

Call our office on 01256 844888, email enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant (a real person) who is online 24/7.

 

Our aim is always to help you move on with the next chapter of your life feeling informed and protected after your divorce.

       

Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

Introducing a New Partner to Your Children

Keeping it Together at Work When Going Through a Divorce

10 Things You Can Do To Prepare For Divorce

     

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.