When you are preparing for divorce the things you do in the first few weeks can have a huge impact on your financial future. 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 before you’ve had legal advice to keep things simple and avoid arguments. You might think the fairest thing is to split everything down the middle and move on.  However, very often an equal split creates an unfair result, particularly if you have the care of your children or you have a smaller income.  We rarely see an exact 50/50 split of the assets.  In addition, 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 an expert solicitor early

Before you reach any agreement talk things through with a specialist family lawyer. We only do family law, so are accustomed to spotting potential pitfalls and hurdles straight away and helping you avoid them. 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 often their advice hinders rather than helps. 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, until a financial settlement has been 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 by an expert solicitor to protect your position if you suspect this will or has happened.

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

It is important to 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 whilst the settlement is sorted out.  This can also include ensuring you have enough money to pay your legal fees.

6. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage

Steps you take in these early stages may seriously impact on your future. For example 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, it might be much more difficult to argue that you should receive more later.

Carol Jessop is an experienced family lawyer specialising in finding practical solutions to resolve complex financial arrangements, protecting assets and obtaining emergency orders to provide personal protection or prevent the removal of children.

Carol has over 30 years’ experience in family law and is recognised by her clients and peers as highly knowledgeable and compassionate.

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.