Finances and divorce

At Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford, we understand that divorce, civil partnership dissolution or relationship breakdown can be a source of financial strain. Our expert family law team will help you navigate the potential costs and impact on your finances.

What does divorce cost?

Firstly, we have to consider with you whether or not your marriage has irretrievably broken down.  There are five ways you can show this:

  • your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
  • your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them;
  • your spouse has deserted you for more than two years;
  • you have been separated for two years and both consent to a divorce; or
  • you have been separated for five years – no consent from your spouse is necessary.

In order to start divorce proceedings you normally need to have been married for one year.  A divorce petition and other financial documents in support need to be prepared and sent to the court.  We will then help you through the divorce proceedings which will include obtaining a  decree nisi, then decree absolute which brings your marriage to an end.

How do I deal with matrimonial finances?

While divorce proceedings are continuing we will advise you fully about your financial entitlements and commitments.  We will try to negotiate with your spouse’s solicitor to reach a settlement on your behalf.  We may suggest trying mediation if we think it could be appropriate.  However, if this is not possible we can proceed to the court and obtain a final order dealing with your finances.

Financial agreements

Once a divorce has been agreed upon and the children’s interests cared for, the financial agreements need careful assessment.  If you have property or assets you will be anxious to ensure that any agreement reached is fair and reasonable.

Pension shares and property transfers

We can offer expert help to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome, especially as there may be pensions, shares and houses to value, endowment policies to be considered and property transferred.  We can engage actuaries and accountants to value your assets.


Where there are family or other business or company interests involved, there can be particular issues or concerns that which may need to be addressed as thoroughly as the more obvious family matters.  These include the question of whether a business or company should be valued for any negotiations or proceedings and if so, by whom and on what basis.  Consideration must be given to the likely effect of proceedings on the business.  We can combine our specialist family law advice with the advice of our business and property department to ensure that every important aspect of your situation has been fully taken into account.


You will be concerned to ensure that you have enough money after separation and divorce.  If you are advised that you are likely to have to pay maintenance, you will want to know what a fair and reasonable payment is.  We can explain the principles and calculations upon which maintenance payments are based, both for you or your spouse and any children.

Child support

Many people experience difficulties in dealing with the Child Maintenance Service.  It may be possible to agree maintenance provisions for your children so as to limit the involvement of the Child Maintenance Service.  If you do become involved with the Child Maintenance Service we can guide you and help to resolve communication problems, as well as advising many steps that are open to you if you are not happy with the Child Maintenance Service’s assessment.

How Hancock Quins Solicitors can help

We provide:

  • extensive experience in all aspects of family law;
  • fast, efficient and friendly advice throughout this difficult time;
  • advice on financial arrangements;
  • referral to support channels for your child; and
  • a dedicated solicitor who will work with you from start to finish.

For more advice about divorce, separation or mediation contact us on 01923 650862. We are waiting to take your call.