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Family Law FAQ

It is very common for a couple seeking to separate having mortgage arrears as one party may have moved out of the family home and is renting and cannot afford to rent and also pay a mortgage. Under the Personal Insolvency Act 2014 (as amended) the government have brought in legislation and a process whereby you can restructure your mortgage under a variety of options such as to extend the term, reduce the interest rate or seek a write down of your mortgage balance to the actual market value of your house.

If one party does not want to cooperate or be involved we can go ahead with just one party. The Government has also brought in a scheme called ‘Abhaile’ which provides initial advice that is paid for by the Government, if you qualify:


It is vital you are upfront and honest about your financial circumstances during divorce proceedings to ensure your ex-partner cannot make a successful financial claim against you in the future. Challenges may arise when one party feels the divorce settlement to be unfair, often because new information has come to light that would have affected the original settlement. If it is found that you were not truthful about your circumstances while your divorce was being agreed, your ex-partner may be able to make a new claim to your assets. 
If you have a business protection of it will be a high priority for you. A business is treated as an asset and will be taken into account by a Court. While every case is different, there are some general points about the way courts deal with businesses. It is unusual for a business to be sold or broken up as a consequence of judicial separation/divorce. The law prefers a business to be unaffected as much as possible to protect its value and other people involved in it, such as employees. This means that if you are the business owner – or the person in the relationship who primarily runs the shared business – it is likely you will retain the business following the divorce. The business is counted as part of the settlement, however. This means the other party may be awarded more of the other assets – such as pensions, investments, cash or property – to make sure the settlement is fair. If there is not enough to meet needs and produce a fair result, then it may be necessary to have recourse to the business. 

It is expected that both parties in a divorce will be frank and open about their financial circumstances. You are entitled to see and scrutinise all the bank account statements and credit cards statements your spouse has over the past 12 months – sometimes longer if this is justified. If you think your partner is acting suspiciously, we can help you obtain the right information and review it.

Our experience in dealing with complex judicial separation/divorce cases, many of which contain significant financial assets, means we can often spot when one party is not being completely honest about their circumstances. If we sense at any point that one party is not being transparent, we will advise you on your options.

If your case is very straight forward, you are both PAYE and there are no pensions involved and everything is agreed before coming to us then it is likely that your costs for a divorce would be very reasonable.  The more complicated and time consuming your case is, the more it will cost.  At the first meeting we will discuss the issues and the type of assets and liabilities and you will be given a written estimate of the likely legal costs for your case.

Since the 31st of January 2020 the UK is no longer covered by EU laws relating to matrimonial matters. However, the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2020 (pdf) provides for the continued recognition in Ireland of divorces, legal separations and marriage annulments granted in the UK.

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