If your husband or wife divorces you is that there is no set rule or entitlements, that are assured for either partner. Because every marriage is unique, each set of facts must be assessed on its own facts , to reach an equitable divorce settlement. In this article, we’ll look at the guiding principles, the court considers when deciding to help you get a fair result.
How are Financial Assets Divided in a Divorce?
Before discussing how money and assets may be divided in a divorce settlement, you must first understand what assets are.
Matrimonial or marital assets are assets you have accumulated or acquired during your marriage. Property, land, pensions, savings, personal possessions, and cash in the bank are common examples. These assets will always be added to the overall matrimonial “pot” (unless ring-fenced by a pre-nuptial agreement) and must be distributed fairly. Remember that fair, does not always mean 50/50 of everything.
Non-marital assets are financial assets acquired before marriage, such as real estate, pensions, businesses, and so on. These assets are not always excluded from a divorce settlement, even though they are sometimes handled differently than matrimonial assets. For example, if the inheritance was used to purchase a home or car during the marriage, the asset would be classified as a marital asset.
What Factors Does the Court Consider when Making its Decision?
As previously stated, there are no real rules for dividing assets in a divorce. However, in deciding, the court will consider two overarching principles. Following a divorce, the ‘matrimonial pot’, or all assets accumulated during the marriage, should be divided equally, with a 50/50 split assumed as the starting point in any divorce.
The judge stated in the case of White v White: “As a general guideline, equality should be deviated from only if, and to the extent that, there is a good reason for doing so.” This is consistent with that decision. There is a common misconception that because assets and money must be distributed equitably, everything will be divided equally; however, this is not always the case.
For instance, it might be more logical for one spouse to get a lump sum from the sale of a property while the other spouse keeps their pension. You must have these discussions before approving a financial settlement. What is considered fair will vary from situation to case and may not necessarily be an equal division of the marital estate.
What Criteria Does the Court Use to Determine a Fair Divorce Settlement?
The most typical misunderstanding regarding divorce settlements and money is this one. Although there is no rule or regulation requiring that assets and money be split equally, this is frequently the starting point for many partners. The court will then consider several considerations listed in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, subject to the principles of fairness and equal distribution.
How We Can Help
Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham has extensive experience dealing with civil litigation in London. If you are going through a divorce settlement and things become contentious, we can help you every step of the way. If you want to apply for ancillary relief, we can fill out a ‘Form A’ on your behalf and provide a personalised service you can rely on.
To find out more, or to receive a free consultation to discuss your options, please give us a call on 0208 769 6739. Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form.