Spring is in the air and we are all starting to feel the benefit of lighter mornings and evenings. The clocks are due to go forward at the end of March and despite losing a precious hour, will the be the mark of longer and hopefully brighter days.
It’s common for divorce rates to spike around certain times of the year. There’s not always a defined pattern to this but you often find more couples divorcing in March and August.
This could be credited to the inertia which we feel in winter starts to lift in March and that, as well as spring cleaning our houses, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning our lives.
There is, however, a good reason to think about the financial aspects of divorce and separation at this time of year. April 6th marks the beginning of the tax year and for many businesses March/April marks the end of a financial accounting period.
Whilst it may seem very cold-hearted to urge people to think about the timing of a separation, the correct timing can save a family thousands of pounds in funds which are better placed in their pockets rather than the public coffers. There are advantages to separating at the beginning of a tax year rather than the end.
For example; in the tax year of separation transfers of property between spouses are exempt from Capital Gains Tax. A divorce and financial application can take 9 to 12 months (or longer in complex cases) to resolve. If you own more than one property you will be taxed on any disposal of a property which is not your main residence. It is not the timing of the legal proceedings which is essential but the timing of the disposal. We would be more than happy to advise and inform you further on this, if you do require support please don’t hesitate to call us on 01212332042.
If your marriage is in difficulties it can be tempting to wait before seeking legal advice; perhaps things will work out, perhaps you’ve read somewhere that you can have a straight forward divorce once you’ve been separated for 2 years. But remember, you will never lose anything from seeking legal advice on your separation.
We come in counter with so many people who have separated from their spouse and decide to avoid legal bills for whatever reason. Some of those people have ended up paying more in Capital Gains Tax than they would have paid for an initial consultation at the time of separation.
Legal advice does not cause divorce – but it does ensure you are able to make informed decisions.
At Greens we offer a range of fixed fee services – an initial meeting costs £275 plus VAT. This could be considerably less than a mistimed disposal of your second or 3rd property which could cost you a lot more than that in tax.
We would be more than happy to assist you through your separation whether that be in regards to finance, child arrangements or any other queries or worries you may have. You can call us on 01212332042 or visit our Birmingham offices at Greens Solicitors, 8th Floor, Temple Point, 1 Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LG. We’re open Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM.