Can’t afford to split up? There is a legal alternative

As the cost of living continues to grip the nation, amid predictions that inflation could rise further this year, Matthew Miles of Silk Family Law has been looking at how this is playing out in context of broken down and unhappy relationships.

The additional pressure this is placing on relationships cannot be understated, says a leading local lawyer
The additional pressure this is placing on relationships cannot be understated, says a leading local lawyer

Many families in Yorkshire are feeling the pinch, with those in rural communities some of the most likely to be struggling against stagnant wages, escalating energy prices and the cost of fuel due to greater driving distances for work, shopping, and the school run.

The additional pressure this is placing on relationships cannot be understated, particularly in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, and the challenges that families and couples have already been through.

The ‘cost of living’ crisis is creating a two-fold impact. For some, they are feeling they have little option but to stay together in circumstances where they would like to leave or instigate a divorce, as they simply cannot afford to run two households. It is quite common for one person to leave the family home and initially rent a property, but the rising cost of bills is squeezing household finances to such an extent this is no longer feasible for many.

Separation agreement

For couples who plan on staying together in these circumstances, they may wish to enter into a legal document known as a separation agreement, which sets out the ownership of existing assets, how they will divide their finances and what their responsibilities will be towards each other in the future.

For others already going through a divorce, pressing issues as to where they will live and who will pay the mortgage or bills is even more crucial. Any default in payment could affect their credit rating and cause future difficulties obtaining a loan or mortgage.

Many couples in rural areas are solely reliant on one spouse’s income to make ends meet. It is therefore essential for divorcing parties to undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of outgoings prior to reaching a financial settlement.

Predicting what you need to live on in the future can seem like an overwhelming task, but it is more important than ever to prepare a budget of your projected living expenses, having regard to the increased cost of fuel, shopping and energy as the principle of need is often the most important factor in many divorce cases in the region.

Silk Family Law associate Matthew Miles specialises in all aspects of family law. Contact Matthew on 07593 583785 or [email protected]. You can also view details of the firm online at www.silkfamilylaw.co.uk