No-one wants to be prepared for a divorce. What you want is for your marriage to last forever and for your divorce to be over as soon as possible. Sadly, the legal fact is that ending a marriage union is just as complicated — if not more complicated — than starting one.
Yet, rushing through a divorce without thinking through the financial side of things properly is never a good idea. Without sound legal counsel and a slow, meticulous process, a nightmare divorce can wind up costing several times more than a dream wedding. So, in order to make sure that a divorce doesn’t cost you, here are four things you need to know.
1. The best divorce lawyers in London are the best divorce lawyers in the country
London is home to a lot more lawyers than you probably realise. Of all the lawyers that operate in the UK, 75% of them operate in the Greater London area. For that reason, if you can find the best divorce lawyer in London, you’ve likely found the best divorce lawyer in the country. What’s more, what with London’s immense size and influence on the global stage, the best divorce lawyer in London may well be one of the best divorce lawyers in the world.
This isn’t just true of the best divorce lawyers in London. The best divorce lawyers in New York City or Los Angeles are likely to be some of the best lawyers in the United States because, just like London, they too are world cities with huge populations and a disproportionately large number of lawyers.
2. If you’re irrational, even the best divorce lawyers in London won’t be able to help you
One of the most common mistakes that people make during a divorce is to prioritise things based on how they feel about them, rather than their financial value. While this may be good life advice, it’s terrible divorce advice. Divorce settlements are based on the money that each partner in the relationship is entitled to. Don’t undermine the importance of this by stubbornly sticking to personal attachments. To do so, make sure you and your ex-partner’s asset valuations are performed by a quality, dispassionate observer.
Divorce lawyers are there to offer you sound legal counsel and emotion-free, impartial advice. The problem is that, when you’re going through a divorce, this advice can be hard to hear. As such, you might choose to ignore it. You are free to do so, of course. Your lawyer’s job isn’t to make you do anything. So if you choose to make huge mistakes because you were thinking with your heart and not your brain, not even the best divorce lawyer in London could help you.
In short, controlling your emotions and avoiding rash decisions based on sentimental attachments is your job and yours alone.
3. Divorce doesn’t make debt magically disappear
A marriage contract means that a lot of debt is shared, and a divorce doesn’t automatically change that. If your ex-partner has some serious money issues, you need to know about them. Not having that difficult conversation now will cause some extreme headaches later down the line.
Prenuptial agreements are a great way of guaranteeing that debt doesn’t become an issue in the event of a divorce. Before you get married, you can lay down the law and make it clear what type of debt would be shared and what type of debt would not be shared. Which brings us to..
4. It’s better to have a prenup and not need it than to need one and not have it
A prenuptial agreement is not made because a couple plans on getting a divorce, in the same way that airbags are not fitted into a car because a driver plans on crashing into a tree. Another misconception is that prenups mean that the divorce is a breeze, but that’s not quite accurate either. While prenups are highly recommended, the quality and scope of the prenup depend on the skill and the experience of the lawyer who helped to draft it. Even a great prenup requires some interpretation during the divorce settlements.