Ask an expert: 'I'm not the bread winner but want a divorce, how can I protect myself?'

My husband of 35 years has recently retired. His retirement and the Covid pandemic have resulted in us spending far more time together than usual. This has badly affected our relationship.

I am worried that we might be headed for a divorce. My husband has always worked whereas I stopped paid work when we had our children – 32 years ago. Is there anything I can do to protect myself financially?

Anon, via email

Caroline Holley, partner at law firm Farrer and Co, says:

I am sorry that you are facing this difficult situation. You are not alone; many couples have found that the past year has put a huge amount of pressure on their relationships.

While it does not sound as if you are certain about the future of your relationship (and I would certainly recommend counselling as a way of improving things), I can understand that it might help you to feel more at ease if you understand a little more about the financial impact of a potential divorce, and what you can do now to protect yourself.

It will reassure you to know how the courts tend to approach cases such as yours. The law treats marriage as a partnership. It does not discriminate between the “breadwinner” and the “home-maker”. This means that if you do divorce, and you need to divide your assets, the starting point will be that everything built up during your marriage should be divided equally.

The first thing that I would suggest is to take some time to make sure you have a good understanding of the family finances – both what you have, and what you spend. This will make it much easier if you need to take legal advice in the future, but more importantly it will equip you with the information you need should you need to make decisions about your financial future.

If you do decide to divorce, you will need advice from a specialist family solicitor. It can help to have discussions about the future with your spouse, but do not be tempted to enter into any financial agreement without taking legal advice and ensuring that you have a good understanding of what you are entitled to.

If you do take advice, it needs to be from someone you feel comfortable with, and confident in. It is worth spending some time to find the right person.

Check that the solicitor you contact is a member of Resolution. Resolution is a national organisation of family lawyers whose members follow a Code of Practice that promotes the constructive resolution of family disputes.

Finally, if you do decide to go your separate ways, you will need to remember to change your Will, or to make a Will if you do not already have one. If you have already carried out any joint estate planning, you will need to take advice on what impact your divorce will have and whether any further action should be taken.

Related Businesses
    - - Customer

    Copyright © 2021 by (Ticker: CRMZ®). All rights reserved.  You are not permitted to use this report or the information contained herein for any purpose not expressly permitted by, Inc. Except as expressly permitted by, Inc., you are not permitted, in whole or in part, to copy, alter, correct, adapt, translate, enhance, lease, sell, sublicense, assign, distribute, publish, otherwise make available to any third party, or prepare derivative works or improvements of this report or any of the information contained therein. You are not permitted to reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile, decode, or adapt the software, algorithms or other processes used to prepare this report, or otherwise attempt to derive or gain access to the source code of same. You agree not to remove, alter, obscure, combine or otherwise change any disclaimers, trademarks, copyrights, other intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, or other symbols, notices, marks, or serial numbers on or relating to any copy of the report or on marketing or other materials that, Inc. may provide to you. You will not use this report in any manner or for any purpose that infringes, misappropriates, or otherwise violates any right of any party, or that violates any applicable law.  
    The FRISK® scores, agency ratings, credit limit recommendations and other scores, analysis and commentary are opinions of, Inc. and/or its suppliers, not statements of fact, and should be one of several factors in making credit decisions.  Any reliance you place on the information in this report is strictly at your own risk. Except as expressly provided by, Inc., no warranties or representations of any type, including without limitation of results to be obtained, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, are made concerning any part of, Inc.’s service, including without limitation the FRISK® scores.  The information published above has been obtained from sources CreditRiskMonitor considers to be reliable., Inc. and its third-party suppliers do not guarantee or validate the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in this report, the underlying information input to create the FRISK® scores, and specifically do not assume responsibility for not reporting any information omitted or withheld.  By using this website, you accept the Terms of Use Agreement
    Contact Us: 845.230.3000
    Fundamental financial data concerning public companies may be provided by Refinitiv (click for restrictions)
    Tuesday, May 11, 2021