The message that the economy is improving doesn't seem to be impacting on house prices.

With price growth slowing for the sixth month in a row, couples who are separating need to be taking a pragmatic approach to their property assets.

For example, I hear from people who have been told by other solicitors that they should not do anything with their assets until they have a final financial settlement, including refusing to deal with property assets. Whilst there is some sense in this in certain situations, in other cases it can cause unnecessary delays when we have a difficult property market.

In my experience, whilst it is crucial to have a final financial settlement in place before exchanging contracts for the sale of a property, this doesn't stop the couple at least marketing the property for sale at an early opportunity. Putting the property on the market in this way not only gives the couple a realistic idea of its likely value, which can help in their settlement negotiations, but also, more importantly, improves the chances that they will have offers from buyers by the time they have their settlement in place.