Can The Grounds For Divorce Affect Your Financial Settlement?

By October 16, 2019

Divorce is often an emotional time for couples, especially if you are filing for divorce using a fault-based ground.

When the petitioner is filing for divorce using adultery or unreasonable behaviour, its not unusual to feel like they should be compensated in the financial settlement for their spouse’s behaviour.

The behaviour of one spouse may be the cause for the divorce, however, it does not have a direct impact on the financial settlement.

What are the grounds for divorce in the UK?

In England & Wales there are 5 legal reasons for divorce:

  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Adultery
  • 2 Year Separation
  • 5 Year Separation
  • Desertion

Do the grounds for divorce affect the divorce settlement?

The grounds for divorce do not affect the financial settlement and are often considered irrelevant.

In the majority of cases, assets are split in regards to the needs, earning capacity, financial resources and other criteria featured in the Matrimonial Clause Act.

Does financial misconduct affect the divorce settlement?

Courts are more likely to consider financial misconduct than personal misconduct.

Examples of financial misconduct are often cited under the ground of unreasonable behaviour.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Gambling
  • Excessive spending
  • Moving assets without the other spouse knowing

All of the above does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to more in the divorce settlement but it means it may be taken into consideration.

These cases, however, are still rare.

If the courts do choose to take the financial misconduct into consideration, it’s likely that they will award the other party with the dissipated money or assets that their spouse had spent/used.

Other Considerations

Although your spouse’s behaviour prior to the proceedings may not be taken into consideration in regards to the financial settlement. The same can not be said for their behaviour during proceedings.

If one party seems to be obstructing divorce proceedings, by frustrating or antagonising the other spouse, or if one party fails to be honest or give full financial disclosure the courts will hold them accountable.

If you would like any further advise then please do not hesitate to contact us, one of ur professional and friendly advisors will be more than happy to help.

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