Divorce Settlement

Financial Settlements After Divorce or Separation

If you are considering or in the midst of a divorce or separation you will naturally be concerned about your future finances.  What many people do not realise is that a divorce by itself does not resolve the separation of the matrimonial finances – it simply dissolves the marriage.

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  • “Well-regarded family practice assisting clients with substantial matrimonial disputes and sensitive children proceedings.”

  • “Osbornes is firmly established as one of the top tier family departments in London. It has a range of clients and cases, many of which are notable because of their complexity. The team increasingly attracts clients who are very wealthy, or in the public eye.”

Expert divorce lawyers specialising in negotiating financial settlements

A separate financial settlement agreement will be required to deal with the division of matrimonial assets and to stipulate what each spouse will receive or retain. You are not able to receive your financial remedy order from the Court until you have a Decree Nisi on divorce. 

If you are concerned thay your spouse may be hiding assets and wealth we will use the services of professional worldwide asset tracers to ensure all wealth is uncovered and disclosed to the Court. 

Whatever the extent of your wealth, you will need an expert divorce lawyer with the appropriate financial acumen to protect your interests. Our family law solicitors act for high-net-worth clients including celebrities, entrepreneurs, and families with inherited wealth. Many families have multinational relationships and financial interests and international divorce is an important part of our practice. 

Our team frequently negotiates multi-million-pound settlements, involving business assets, onshore and off-shore investments in complex financial structures, property portfolios and pensions schemes.  We have a wealth of experience in tracking down ‘missing’ assets, and obtaining valuations for shares, property, and trusts.  We work closely with other professionals, such as forensic accountants, tax, and pensions advisers to ensure you have the best evidence available to support negotiations.

How our expert divorce lawyers can help you

Each family is unique and at your initial consultation we will discuss your circumstances, identify what is most important to you and your desired outcome.  

We will advise you on the law and how best to achieve the outcomes you seek. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, we will need to review this. 

The breadth of experience in our team means that we offer the full range of options to obtain your divorce settlement, including:

  • Mediation
  • Collaborative law
  • Arbitration
  • Central Family Court, High Court, County Court, Supreme Court
  • Private FDRs
  • Lawyer led negotiations

Whatever forum you choose, you can rest assured that we will negotiate vigorously on your behalf.  If the divorce does proceed to court, our highly skilled advocates will represent you robustly and we have a track record of excellent results for our clients.

Find out more about divorce and property.

Speak to a Divorce Lawyer Today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • Andrew secured me the best financial settlement for my claim. He is a credit to Osbornes Solicitors.

      Family Department Client

    • "Lisa Pepper was recommended to me as non-nonsense and able to help me with a difficult and confrontational divorce. She more than lived up to that – she was practical, collected and always available with a clear opinion and suggestions of how to move forwards. She also was open and helpful about costs and how to mitigate them"

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Mark Freedman is a very capable lawyer, renowned for not being a pushover and pushing his clients’ cases as much as he can, but will always talk sensibly about settlement. He is among the best – tenacious, good judgment and tactically aware."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Mark Freedman is a dynamic and highly experienced family lawyer who fights extremely hard for his clients and is always in their corner, thus ensuring their loyalty and confidence. In a trial you would always want him on your side."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "She has impressed me as someone who fights my corner but also understands the importance of resolving issues without unnecessary escalation. She is calm and reassuring."

    • "Her mediation practice is exceptional; she is also a great solicitor and has a breadth of skill which is really useful."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "He is really experienced and wise. He has a lovely manner about him and clients feel safe with him."

      Chambers UK

    • "Jo Wescott is top notch and widely recognised as a rising star throughout the profession. She brings a winning combination of great judgement, an immense work ethic, and a relaxed and charming way with opponents and clients alike. Someone you want on your side”

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Osbornes is pre-eminent for family law in North London. Mark Freedman is a real rainmaker. He is an excellent lawyer and has a top-notch practice"

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Mark Freedman is intelligent and personable and has a good selection of high-net work cases.

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • "Exceptional value for money. Highly competent and reasonably priced. Mark Freedman: one of the best in the field."

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • "Client-focused. Ready to fight the clients’ corner, but also ready where possible to steer client from unnecessary dispute. Mark Freedman – very experienced, with good instinct for the eventual result. Clients love him and he thinks ahead and directs the client to the best result for the client."

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Mark Freedman is a serious player. A fearless family law litigator, who protects his clients’ interests passionately.

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Breadth of knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile is what makes it stand out. Mark Freedman – devoted to his clients

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Mark Freedman frequently takes on high-value financial and children proceedings that involve complex tax, trust and accounting issues. Sources praise the "tenacity and common sense" he brings to challenging disputes.

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark is very experienced, competent, good with clients and takes a sensible approach to cases. He knows exactly what he's doing."

      Chambers & Partners Directory 2020, Mark Freedman

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals."

      The Legal 500

    • "Mark Freedman is a real heavyweight litigator who has dealt with some very significant cases."

      The Legal 500

    • "Mark Freedman boxes clever, keeps his powder dry and when it comes to the end game he negotiates a really good deal."

      The Legal 500

    • "Mark Freedman has a specific focus on high-net-worth divorces and finance cases where there are overseas assets and trusts."

      The Legal 500

    • "Lisa Pepper somehow manages to get parties to settle on matters where there isn’t much hope to start out with."

      The Legal 500

    • "Well-regarded family practice assisting clients with substantial matrimonial disputes and sensitive children proceedings."

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark Freedman draws acclaim for his work in high net worth divorce cases, including those involving company structures, family trusts and overseas assets."

      Chambers UK 2019

    • "He never gives up. He fights for you to the end and has boundless energy."

      Chambers UK

    • Mark Freedman advises high-net-worth clients and knows his stuff.

      Legal 500

    • Highly regarded for his experience as a litigation and mediation expertise, Mark Freedman is tenacious and determined. Clients really feel that he is fighting their corner.

      Chambers UK

    • Andrew handled a very complex, 3 year legal battle for me, with a tremendous amount of patience and professionalism. He is very approachable, always kept me up to date, by phone and e-mail, and responded very quickly to my queries with excellent advice, sound strategic thinking and strong letters to put the other side under pressure. With top contacts for barristers, joint experts and mediation.

      Family Department Client

    • [The Family Law department] handles significant matrimonial finance cases and complex nuptial agreements. Respected for its expertise in cross-border children law matters.

      Chambers UK

    • Mark Freedman represents high net worth clients in complex financial disputes. Sources say that "he's a determined negotiator who'll always do the very best for his clients.

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark Freedman receives a lot of instructions from clients based abroad, often relating to complex divorce proceedings. Sources say: “His main strengths are his enthusiastic passion for the job in hand and his total dedication to his clients.”

      Chambers UK

    Divorce and pensions

    It is not uncommon for a pension fund to be one of the largest assets in a divorce, and how pensions are treated is important.  The first step is to obtain a pension valuations, before looking at how an equalisation of pension pots can be achieved.  

    There are a number of factors that can impact what a fair figure is when considering equalisation.  For example, we can advise you if pre-marital contributions will affect this. On some occasions, the age of you and your spouse together with any health conditions may warrant adjustments.

    Achieving equalisation may mean that one spouse has to transfer some of their pension fund to the other spouse.  This can be done by way of a pension sharing order or pension attachment order:

    • a pension sharing order will divide a percentage of the pension fund now and transfer it into a separate fund in the other spouse’s name;
    • a pension attachment order earmarks an amount of the pension pot which will then be paid out to the other spouse when the pension comes into payment at retirement.

    If a pension sharing order or pension attachment order does not appeal to you, then we can discuss if off-setting would better meet your needs.  This is where each party retains their own pension funds, but the spouse with the lower (or even no) pension receives some additional asset instead.  This is typically a larger share of equity in the family home or a lump sum of money.

    Can my spouse take my pension in a divorce?

    All assets must be considered in a financial settlement including any pensions held by either spouse.  Depending on the assets involved, your pension fund may be split and part of it transferred to your spouse. If you hold more than one pension fund it is possible that an entire pension may be transferred to your spouse. 

    Trusts and divorce

    A trust is a separate legal entity, and its assets are not owned by either spouse.  However, trusts are not ring fenced from being included in the matrimonial assets considered for division.  

    The court will examine the trust deed in order to seek to ensure a fair division is achieved between spouses.  Sometimes sizeable assets can be held on trust that will inevitably eventually benefit one spouse.  To ignore that would be inequitable.  

    It is necessary to examine the nature of the trust.  This is usually done by looking at the trust deed, and the history of how beneficiaries have received from the trust.  

    The type of trust will influence how the court can deal with the trust, but the court has wide-ranging powers, including:

    • The power to vary a trust;
    • To transfer trust assets to the other spouse; or
    • To offset an amount which it believes the beneficiary spouse will receive from the trust. 

    Divorce and business assets

    One of the most contentious issues when it comes to businesses in divorce settlements tends to be the value of any business.  It is not uncommon for the spouse running the business to portray it as being of little or no value.  Accounts need to be scrutinised to ensure a fair value is obtained, and how the value is assessed will depend on the business structure and profits.  

    Any business that you or your spouse have a financial interest in will need to be disclosed and taken into account in your divorce settlement.  There are a number 

    of factors that will determine how big a factor a business asset will feature in a financial settlement. These include the nature of the business, how long it has been established and what involvement your spouse has in the business.

    Family and international business structures can sometimes make it difficult to value the business and to release cash or assets from it, however our lawyers work closely with accountants who have expertise in valuing businesses and understanding the interplay between business and tax structures in divorce.  

    Most importantly, we understand the importance of keeping your business as a going concern and can guide you in reaching an outcome that will ensure the integrity of your business is not compromised. 

    How does a freezing order stop my spouse devaluing assets?

    If you are concerned that your spouse is trying to devalue assets, then you may require a freezing order.  This is a type of injunction made by a court to prevent your spouse from dealing with their assets.  

    In order to make a freezing order, the court must be satisfied that there is a risk your spouse will dispose of or devalue an asset, and that this action would be prejudicial to you in obtaining your fair share in a financial settlement.  

    If you suspect your spouse may do this then it is important that you act quickly as taking preventative action by way of a freezing order is preferable to trying to obtain a remedy following an asset being transferred or depleted. 

    Financial Settlement FAQs

    Do I need a financial settlement agreement?

    Even if you have reached a verbal agreement with your spouse, we strongly recommend that you obtain a financial settlement to protect you and your family in the long term and to ensure the fair division of all assets.  This is called a Financial Remedy Order. It is a legally binding ‘watertight’ financial settlement – agreed consensually and put before the Court for approval. If the case is contested the Court can impose the order.

    There have been many cases where, years after they have divorced, applicants have been successful in making a financial claim against their former spouse. A settlement agreement will protect your interests now and will protect you from your spouse making a claim over any future inheritance, assets or a windfall.

    How do I reach a fair settlement?

    In order to reach a fair settlement both you and your spouse will need to provide details of all your assets. This must be ‘full and frank’ and include all assets held in your sole names as well as jointly together or with any third party.  Attempting to hide or conceal assets is not recommended.

    Once this information has been exchanged, our lawyers will advise you on your entitlements, and you will be able to evaluate your options.  These include:

    • Agreeing a split directly with your former spouse;
    • Attending mediation to reach agreement;
    • Partaking in an arbitration; or 
    • Allowing one of our expert lawyers to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. 

    If a settlement cannot be achieved in one of these ways, then we will discuss your court options.

    I believe my spouse is deliberately hiding wealth - what should I do?

    Our lawyers do act for clients in cases where the other party makes attempts to hide or conceal wealth. We work with leading forensic accountants and professional worldwide assets tracers, who will establish whether wealth or assets have been hidden.

    What is a consent order?

    A consent order is the financial remedy order and is a legally binding document reflecting what you and your former spouse have agreed in terms of the financial settlement of the matrimonial assets.  The order is made by the court and will permanently sever financial ties between spouses, save for any ongoing obligation as stipulated in the consent order such as maintenance.  

    Consent orders provide spouses with clarity and certainty in relation to the division of assets.  They also remove any future risk of your former spouse making an application to court seeking more of your assets. 

    Where finances are contested by parties the Court will impose a financial remedy order. 

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    • “Mark Freedman represents high net worth clients in complex financial disputes. Sources say that “he’s a determined negotiator who’ll always do the very best for his clients.”

      Chambers UK

    • “Mark Freedman is considered a ‘brilliant lawyer’ and a ‘great tactician’ who ‘will absolutely fight tooth and nail for his clients’. He is noted for his expertise in private children work and high-value divorces.”

      Chambers UK

    • "Exceptional value for money. Highly competent and reasonably priced. One of the best in the field."

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark Freedman is intelligent and personable and has a good selection of high-net work cases".

      Chambers UK

    • Andrew secured me the best financial settlement for my claim. He is a credit to Osbornes Solicitors.

      Family Department Client

    • "Lisa Pepper was recommended to me as non-nonsense and able to help me with a difficult and confrontational divorce. She more than lived up to that – she was practical, collected and always available with a clear opinion and suggestions of how to move forwards. She also was open and helpful about costs and how to mitigate them"

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Mark Freedman is a very capable lawyer, renowned for not being a pushover and pushing his clients’ cases as much as he can, but will always talk sensibly about settlement. He is among the best – tenacious, good judgment and tactically aware."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Mark Freedman is a dynamic and highly experienced family lawyer who fights extremely hard for his clients and is always in their corner, thus ensuring their loyalty and confidence. In a trial you would always want him on your side."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "She has impressed me as someone who fights my corner but also understands the importance of resolving issues without unnecessary escalation. She is calm and reassuring."

    • "Her mediation practice is exceptional; she is also a great solicitor and has a breadth of skill which is really useful."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "He is really experienced and wise. He has a lovely manner about him and clients feel safe with him."

      Chambers UK

    • "Jo Wescott is top notch and widely recognised as a rising star throughout the profession. She brings a winning combination of great judgement, an immense work ethic, and a relaxed and charming way with opponents and clients alike. Someone you want on your side”

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Osbornes is pre-eminent for family law in North London. Mark Freedman is a real rainmaker. He is an excellent lawyer and has a top-notch practice"

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Mark Freedman is intelligent and personable and has a good selection of high-net work cases.

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • "Exceptional value for money. Highly competent and reasonably priced. Mark Freedman: one of the best in the field."

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • "Client-focused. Ready to fight the clients’ corner, but also ready where possible to steer client from unnecessary dispute. Mark Freedman – very experienced, with good instinct for the eventual result. Clients love him and he thinks ahead and directs the client to the best result for the client."

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Mark Freedman is a serious player. A fearless family law litigator, who protects his clients’ interests passionately.

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Breadth of knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile is what makes it stand out. Mark Freedman – devoted to his clients

      Legal 500 2020 - Mark Freedman

    • Lisa Pepper is particularly recognised for her role as a mediator in complex cross-border disputes. Her practice also includes handling prenuptial agreements and issues arising from the dissolution of civil partnerships.

      Chambers UK

    • Mark Freedman frequently takes on high-value financial and children proceedings that involve complex tax, trust and accounting issues. Sources praise the "tenacity and common sense" he brings to challenging disputes.

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark is very experienced, competent, good with clients and takes a sensible approach to cases. He knows exactly what he's doing."

      Chambers & Partners Directory 2020, Mark Freedman

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals."

      The Legal 500

    • "Mark Freedman is a real heavyweight litigator who has dealt with some very significant cases."

      The Legal 500

    • "Mark Freedman boxes clever, keeps his powder dry and when it comes to the end game he negotiates a really good deal."

      The Legal 500

    • "Mark Freedman has a specific focus on high-net-worth divorces and finance cases where there are overseas assets and trusts."

      The Legal 500

    • "The very personable and client-focused Lisa Pepper."

      The Legal 500

    • "Joanne Wescott is a very approachable and sensible opponent."

      Legal 500 2019

    • "Lisa Pepper somehow manages to get parties to settle on matters where there isn’t much hope to start out with."

      The Legal 500

    • "Lisa can handle the large and complicated cases but takes equal care with the smaller cases. She is a highly skilled mediator who is a consummate professional."

      The Legal 500

    • "Well-regarded family practice assisting clients with substantial matrimonial disputes and sensitive children proceedings."

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark Freedman draws acclaim for his work in high net worth divorce cases, including those involving company structures, family trusts and overseas assets."

      Chambers UK 2019

    • "He never gives up. He fights for you to the end and has boundless energy."

      Chambers UK

    • Mark Freedman advises high-net-worth clients and knows his stuff.

      Legal 500

    • Highly regarded for his experience as a litigation and mediation expertise, Mark Freedman is tenacious and determined. Clients really feel that he is fighting their corner.

      Chambers UK

    • Andrew handled a very complex, 3 year legal battle for me, with a tremendous amount of patience and professionalism. He is very approachable, always kept me up to date, by phone and e-mail, and responded very quickly to my queries with excellent advice, sound strategic thinking and strong letters to put the other side under pressure. With top contacts for barristers, joint experts and mediation.

      Family Department Client

    • [The Family Law department] handles significant matrimonial finance cases and complex nuptial agreements. Respected for its expertise in cross-border children law matters.

      Chambers UK

    • Mark Freedman represents high net worth clients in complex financial disputes. Sources say that "he's a determined negotiator who'll always do the very best for his clients.

      Chambers UK

    • "Mark Freedman receives a lot of instructions from clients based abroad, often relating to complex divorce proceedings. Sources say: “His main strengths are his enthusiastic passion for the job in hand and his total dedication to his clients.”

      Chambers UK

    Contact us for Divorce Advice Today

    For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

    Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you