Frequently we need to assess our finances and expenses and a significant time in your life when you will do this is if you are experiencing divorce or separation.

Unsurprisingly the more assets and children you have the more complicated divorce and separation can be. In an ideal world you can come to an amicable arrangement making the process simple saving you a lot of money and stress. Sometimes, no matter how amicable you are, the courts may need to be involved to ensure the split of your assets is fair for all. The courts involvement doesn’t guarantee things will be split fairly, the only thing that it does guarantee, is that the costs rise, often exceeding £10,000.

Let’s look at the valuation of the family home as an example of an area of dispute. The person remaining in the home may have a stance that the property is worth less than the person leaving the home, and they may be of the opinion it could be difficult to sell at the estimated price, hence feeling like they are getting the raw end of the deal. This could easily be flipped for the person leaving the property as they could be much more optimistic about the value and could hold a sentimental attachment feeling aggrieved that they are leaving the property.

Property values are an art and not a science, and values are ultimately only based on what someone is willing to pay. The most common way for people to try to establish the value is to ask estate agents, often with people asking three estate agents and taking the average. However estate agent valuations can vary significantly and are often overshot. You should obtain valuations from independent, reliable sources, who can give you their opinion without any bias.

Daniel Brown DipPFS, Cert SMP
14th October 2019

Separation and Divorce
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