6 early steps to take when you’re preparing for divorce

When you are preparing for divorce the things you do in the first few weeks can have quite an impact on the financial outcome. That’s why it’s important to take advice before you make any decisions that could affect your long term position.

Here are 6 early steps you can take to protect your position when you are going through a divorce:

1. Don’t agree anything too hastily

You may be tempted to agree a settlement quickly to keep things simple and avoid any long drawn out arguments. You might think the fairest thing is to split everything down the middle and move on. Be careful as there may be assets you are unaware of or hadn’t thought about. It could be that your spouse is not disclosing all their assets or you may have overlooked things that could add a significant amount to your overall settlement.

2. See a solicitor early

Before you reach any agreement talk things through with a specialist family lawyer. We are accustomed to spotting potential pitfalls and hurdles straight away and can help you make the right decisions in those early days. Everyone hopes their case will be straightforward but few are completely without their difficulties.

3. Have the right strategy

Try not to take advice from friends and family. They are well meaning but one approach does not suit everyone. There are lots of different ways to reach financial settlement such as mediation, collaborative family law, negotiation through solicitors and going to court. At Harrogate Family Law we find the right strategy for you and your circumstances.

4. Prevent your spouse disposing of or hiding assets

It is important to ensure that, pending a financial settlement being reached, the assets are protected. If this isn’t done, then your spouse may dispose of or hide assets and you may receive less than you are entitled to. Steps can be taken to protect your position if you suspect this will or has happened.

5. Make sure you have enough money to pay your bills

We will ensure you have enough money to meet your expenses whilst the financial settlement is being sorted out. We’ll help you to work out what you need to support yourself and your children on an interim basis, including legal costs, and negotiate with your spouse to secure the money you need.

6. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage

Steps you take in the early stages may seriously impact on your future. If you move out of the house without your children, then you may find it very difficult to arrange for them to live you with in the future. If you agree to receive too little money in the interim, and you can just survive on that and it might be much more difficult to argue that you should receive more later.


Andrew Meehan is individually recommended for family law by both Chambers 2017 and the Legal 500 2016. He is also a Resolution accredited specialist solicitor for divorce cases involving complex financial and property matters.

This article has been prepared with the aim of providing general information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While we aim to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. In addition, everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon. If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk. Harrogate Family Law accepts no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of any part of our website, except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.