Financial Issues

In the Family Department’s Finance team in Bristol, we have acknowledged expertise in dealing with the financial consequences of relationship breakdown.

We have extensive knowledge and experience of dealing with financial issues. We regularly advise on cases involving:

  • Businesses
  • Farms
  • Limited companies.

We can call on specialist assistance from other professionals, such as accountants and valuers.

We will guide you through the process of resolving the financial issues that have arisen from your relationship’s breakdown. To help resolve things in the way that suits you best, we will discuss the options available with you, including:

  • Collaborative process
  • Written negotiations
  • Round-table meetings
  • Court proceedings

If court proceedings are necessary, we will guide you through them and explain how the different steps of the court timetable assist you with moving your case forward to settlement.

We have extensive links with specialist barristers, who we bring in to assist when appropriate. We also regularly deal with applications made on behalf of the children of unmarried couples for financial provision to cover accommodation, transport, education and general support.

We offer fixed-fee services in relation to financial remedy. Contact us for more information.


When couples divorce, the court has power to share pensions between them. Pensions legislation is complex. Therefore, we are here to guide you through the various options that may be available to you, including:

  • Sharing orders
  • Attachment orders
  • Off-setting other assets in return for forgoing all or part of a pension sharing order

We can call on specialist assistance from a carefully selected panel of Independent Financial Advisers and pension actuaries who specialise in divorce cases.

Useful links

Everyone dealing with my case including assistants were very competent and professional


What do courts take into account when considering how to divide a couple’s finances?

  • Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources you each have
  • Each of your financial needs, obligations and responsibilities
  • The standard of living you enjoyed before the breakdown of your marriage
  • Your ages
  • How long your marriage lasted
  • Any physical or mental disability either of you have
  • Contributions that each of you made to the family’s welfare

How does the financial court process work?

If you both agree about how the family finances should be divided, you can file a document with the court detailing the agreement you reached (called a ‘consent order’). The court will think about what it says and either approve it or ask for more information. If you can’t agree about finances, you can ask the court to make decisions for you: this is called applying for a financial remedy. You both need to complete a financial statement that provides full and frank disclosure of your financial position.

There is the potential for three court hearings:

  • The First Directions Appointment is an opportunity for both of you to set out your issues
  • Financial Dispute Resolution is an opportunity for you both to put your positions to the judge and each other, and for the judge to make comments that might help reach a settlement. If settlement can’t be reached, you will proceed to
  • The Final Hearing, where you both give evidence on your positions and the judge makes a decision

My husband doesn’t pay child maintenance. Can I stop him having contact?

No. It is vitally important that matters involving your children and those involving finances are kept separate and distinct.

Our Experts

Philippa Morgan

Philippa Morgan

Head of Family Law


Direct Dial: 0117 904 5923

Iona Phillips

Partner/ Deputy Group Leader: Family Law


Direct Dial: 0117 904 5878

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