Most people worry more about the financial aspects of divorce than anything else. Discussing your concerns with us at an early stage will enable us to ensure that we extract full financial information from your spouse and will help reduce your costs.
Here are some guidelines to help your thinking process:
- The general rule is that the assets and debts of a marriage are split 50/50 on divorce - in reality, this is only a starting point.
- A more accurate – and helpful - rule of thumb is this: the Court will divide the assets of the marriage according to the needs of both parties and may factor in many different elements such as who has the care of the children or a significant disparity in earning power.
- Contrary to common belief, it is extremely unusual for the Court to take bad behaviour into account when considering a financial settlement.
- Maintenance awards, especially for life, are rarely granted these days because the Court prefers a clean financial break. However, with the right representation, the Court can still be persuaded to order maintenance.
- One or both spouses might have assets which have nothing to do with the marriage – maybe a house inherited from parents, maybe a lottery win: if there are not enough assets in the matrimonial pot to provide adequately for both parties the Court has power to bring these “external assets” into the pot for division. You should, therefore, be aware of how any separate property owned by you or your spouse could be affected.
- Either spouse may claim a share of the other’s pension. The Court will look at pension issues separately and make an award based on the future needs of both parties. Again, therefore, you should be aware of your pension arrangements and those of your spouse.
- Where a married couple have children in full-time education the Court’s priority will always be to provide a secure home and adequate finance for those children – this may mean delay in the sale of the matrimonial home.