If you are considering a divorce or dissolution, you will also need to think about how you wish to deal with your finances. In order to fully separate your finances from your spouse or civil partner, you must reach a financial settlement which will be legally binding, otherwise financial claims will remain ‘live’, even after your divorce or dissolution.

Financial claims can be made against property (usually the family home), savings, investments, pensions and income. A claim can be made against any asset, including those in your sole name, those in joint names with your spouse or civil partner, and those jointly owned with third parties. Claims can also be made for income, by way of maintenance for you and your children.

Whatever your financial situation is, we have the expertise and resources to help get you a fair settlement.

You can deal with your finances in several different ways, and we can help you decide which would be most appropriate in your circumstances.

Consent Order

You can agree a settlement directly with your spouse or civil partner, via mediation or via solicitor negotiation. We always recommend that you engage in full financial disclosure with your spouse or civil partner before agreeing to any financial settlement. Once a settlement is agreed, your financial claims can be settled by drafting and filing a consent order at court. The consent order will set out the agreed terms of your financial settlement. Once approved and sealed by the court, a consent order will be legally binding.

Financial Remedy Proceedings

If a financial settlement cannot be agreed, you can apply to the court for financial remedy proceedings. The court will then determine an appropriate settlement based on the financial disclosure that you and your spouse/civil partner provide, and the Section 25 criteria of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The Section 25 criteria prioritises the welfare of your children (if under the age of eighteen) and lists various additional factors that the court must have regard to, before making any financial orders. These factors include but are not limited to, the assets you have available, your earning capacity, your age, the duration of your marriage, your standard of living, your contributions and your conduct. The Court will always strive to divide the assets in a fair and reasonable way based on your circumstances and a court order will be legally binding.

It is possible to agree to a private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) appointment as part of financial remedy proceedings in an effort to expedite your matter and we are experienced in the use of private FDR’s.


If a financial settlement cannot be agreed, rather than go to court, you can agree to undertake arbitration to determine an appropriate settlement which is an alternative form of dispute resolution. The process is similar to the court process but can be faster, as you do not have to adhere to the court timetable and wait for the court to have availability to progress your matter. You appoint an ‘arbitrator’ to adjudicate your dispute and to determine an award. If you agree to arbitrate, you will be bound by the arbitrator’s decision which is often then drafted into an Order and submitted at court.

For more information, please contact our family law team on
020 3096 7500 or info@pcm-law.net.

  • “I want to thank you so much Sarah for being so calm, professional, compassionate and expeditious. It really helped me a lot through this tough time and it allowed the pre-nup to be much better drafted than if it had just been drafted by the other side!”

    – Mrs L.M, London

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    Mrs N.G, Essex

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  • Sarah has been very understanding and more importantly very honest throughout this very difficult period. She has been reliable and has always updated me regularly with my options and what the likely consequences will be. I would recommend her services to anyone who wants a honest, clear and no nonsense service.

    Ms R.S, London

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    – Mr J.H. Yorkshire

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  • Caroline, a huge thank you to you and your colleagues for the smooth and sensitive way in which you have handled a very difficult situation. I have always found you friendly, polite, professional yet supportive, knowledgeable and your no-nonsense approach has really been appreciated. I have no hesitation in both using and recommending PCM due in no small part to how good both you (and Paul in the past) have handled my issues. My sincere thanks to you and your team”.

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