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There are three reasons why you need to understand the law relating to finances.
Firstly, the law gives a framework for you to work within. It enables you to understand the principles to be applied to your negotiations and you can then use these to construct a financial deal between you.
Secondly, the law helps you to consider what kind of settlement might be fair. If one of you wants too much, or is not prepared to agree something that is fair and reasonable, then you can go to court. The courts have the ultimate say. Whenever lawyers negotiate, or mediators mediate, they are always conscious of what a court might do if things go wrong. You should have this in mind as well, as it helps to provide a focus for your discussions.
Thirdly, it is nearly always sensible to have your financial agreement made into a court order. This makes sure it is legally binding and enforceable. What the court can actually order is set out in the legislation and you need to understand how this works.
Whatever your financial circumstances, it is important to have a court order. Even if you have no assets and no income, it is worthwhile having the court make an order so that neither of you can make claims against the other in the future. If this does not happen, it is possible for your ex spouse to make a claim against you, even years after the divorce. This might happen if you got an inheritance, or if your finances improved for some other reason.
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