One major concern for many people when considering divorce is the financial side. After living together, and sharing income for many years, it can be difficult for anyone, particularly working mothers and housewives to figure out how they will manage on just their income.
The worries can be compounded by spouses threatening to ensure you don’t get anything from the divorce. However, this is not the case, and it is a good idea to make yourself aware of your rights when it comes to financial matters such as dividing property, savings, and more.
Agreeing on a financial settlement is a separate process from other aspects of divorce, including the petitioning of the divorce and matters involving children.
Before the court can put in a financial order, you must first obtain a Decree Nisi, a certificate issued halfway through divorce proceedings that confirm you are legally entitled to a divorce.
The court must consider what is ‘fair’ for both parties when considering the financial order, and starts with a 50/50 split. It is simply not the case of who owns what, meaning that if your spouse has greater assets, they are not entitled to more money.
Under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the courts will then consider other factors, the first of which is always the welfare of any children. Following that is the income and the earning capacity of each party, as well as financial dependencies, obligations, and responsibilities.
Other considerations include standard of living, duration of the marriage, any physical or mental disabilities, the ages of each party, conduct, and the actual and potential contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family.
The courts will always try to seek the fairest outcome for both parties given all the considerations, and ensure that both parties enjoy a similar standard of living.
A longer marriage is more likely to result in a 50/50 split, given the more significant contributions made and the more intertwined finances become over time.
Due to the complexity of financial settlements, you should always seek legal advice before agreeing to any settlement.
If you’re looking for divorce solicitors in Epsom, get in touch today.