By Conal McGarrity
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The Importance Of Severing The Financial Ties Of The Marriage

The importance of severing the financial ties of the marriage and the reality if one parties dies before agreement is reached:

During the separating process between husband and wife is separation is really only finally sealed when the finances of the marriage are resolved before the court and the divorces proceedings are concluded with the grant of the Decree Absolute. It is widely thought that once the Decree Absolute has been granted, following the Decree Nisi that the break is final and each party is free to move in whatever way they wish. Not so easy however if finances were never part of the separation process. Without a legal document which severs ties between the couple’s finance, or an Order from the court detailing the separation of the finances of the marriages then it leave the parties open to a future claim on the finances of the marriage. This is regardless of whether the decree absolute has been granted.

Severing Financial Ties

It is imperative therefore that the finances of any marriage are sorted. This can be done in two ways. Either by a matrimonial agreement, a legal document which is negotiated between the legal representatives and the parties, details of which are written in a document which is then made a rule of court during proceedings. Alternatively, when agreement is difficult to reach then parties may pursue the avenue of ancillary relief proceedings which allows the courts to resolve the matters formally before a court. It is vital that you formally sever all financial ties with your spouse.

What Happens if a Party Dies Before a Decree Absolute and the Finance Have Not Been Settled?

In this case for the purpose of inheritance the surviving spouse will continue to be dependant of the deceased. It will not matter how long the parties have been separated. Therefore, it is important that a will is made even prior to reaching a settlement and that will reflect the up of date circumstances and their wishes. This document, whilst able to be contested on death by the other party, does at least create a formal declaration of the wishes of that individual.

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