The complexities of divorce explained

Published on: February 20, 2024

No Fault divorce – 97% of divorcing individuals don’t get financial advice

Seeking financial advice from an expert can significantly increase your chances of a better outcome and a lifestyle after divorce that you deserve

Not much dampens the mood like talking about divorce. But there are few things that will disrupt your finances quite like a divorce.

April 6 2022 wasn’t just the beginning of the new tax year; always a big deal in a financial planning firm. It is the date when the biggest change to UK divorce law in 50 years came into place.

So called ‘no-fault divorce’, replaced the system in England and Wales that required at least one several conditions to be met to legally separate. These included infidelity, unreasonable behaviour, desertion and living separately for up to 5 years. Critics of this system pointed out that these conditions placed significant pressure on couples who may otherwise split amicably especially where children and finances are involved. 

Now, one or both the married couple simply need to register on a new government website giving notice and starting a 20 week ‘reflection period’. A conditional order will then be granted, then after another 6 weeks a final order can be applied for.

What the new law does not do.

Some solicitors have noted several prospective clients wanted to pursue a split through the old system believing that detailing their spouse’s behaviour may favour them in any financial or custody proceedings.

However, splitting finances and custody are usually separate to the legal divorce itself.

Crucially, this is still the case in the new system.

Therefore, it is key to consider any financial settlement and how your finances should be split.

A ‘quick and easy’ agreement may sound a straightforward option, but short-term resolution could have serious repercussions in the future. This is where having an expert in your corner will help you understand where you stand and  for a better outcome.

97% of people don’t have a financial advisor in their corner.

Solicitors are usually the first port of call when seeking expertise during a separation. Three Counties have had the pleasure of working with a number highly skilled solicitors over the years. All are as deeply committed to their clients as we are and they strive only for the best.

I was surprised however to find that only 3%[1] of those going through a break-up sought financial advice from a qualified adviser such as one of the team at Three Counties. You might think that a solicitor would be able to “cover all the bases” and in many cases that may be true.

A financial adviser however would be able to bring a different branch of expertise that may prove to be hugely beneficial. They certainly do not replace a solicitor in the process but can contribute hugely to a more agreeable outcome.

For example, many couples simply split their main home – half of couples do this. But some find that selling or otherwise parting ways with their home can bring significant hardship; it’s usually difficult to obtain an income from a house you are living in!

Alternatively, pensions could have accrued throughout the marriage often mostly with main ‘breadwinner’. Whether Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution, pensions could now, almost stealthily, be the couple’s biggest asset.

But only 12% of divorces even consider pensions throughout the process despite several different ways they can be divided even if not at pensionable age. [2]

Three Counties Director Corryn Wild discussed these options in a short video: Pension Planning – Pensions in Divorce – YouTube

I’m getting a divorce – do I really need financial advice?

It wouldn’t hurt. Helping you understand what assets you have or could potentially have access to is critical to a divorce and the life you wish to lead when all is finalised.

If you are a new client, any initial meeting would be free of charge and would take place anywhere you feel comfortable; your home, our lovely office or even by video conference.

Three Counties prides itself on putting clients first and going at their own pace. Your situation would be treated with utmost sensitivity and professionalism.

We have extensive experience in working with many other professionals throughout a range of different situations so you can be sure we would work well together with anyone else on your team.

If a divorce is something you’re going through and you think we may be able to help, get in touch.

Writer BioNick Cranston is a Financial Adviser at Three Counties ltd joining the team in December 2021. He passed the necessary industry diploma in August 2021.

Please Note. Three Counties ltd do not take responsibility for the content and accuracy of external links’

[1] Holy Matrimoney: 272,000 delay divorce due to cost-of-living pressures | Legal & General (

Supporting your clients through a divorce | Legal & General (

No-fault divorce: rush expected as new law introduced in England and Wales | Divorce | The Guardian


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