What would my spouse be entitled to if we divorce?
What would my spouse be entitled to if we divorce?
Spousal entitlement is one of the most frequently asked questions our solicitors receive.
Unfortunately, there is no set answer as every case is different, but there are a few factors that are always taken into consideration.
When going through a divorce many assets are taken into account including property, pensions, finances, cars, savings and investments.
There are many different factors that are taken into consideration in regards to how these assets are divided. No marriage is alike.
Want to find out more about your spouse may be entitled to? Contact us today
There is a general list that is derived from Section 25 of the marital Causes Act 1973. But you must always remember that this is just a rough guide and the judge can take their own views on the process dependent on many other marital factors.
The courts are very flexible which is why there are actually very few rules which they have to follow in terms of who gets what in a divorce.
This information can be taken in a good light for some as this means the courts can deem what they see as fair in terms of who gets what in each case.
Judges will generally consider an equal split to begin with but many other aspects are taken into consideration to make it a fair split. A 50/50 split is popular among long lasting marriages.
Section 25 states that the court has a duty to take into account “all of the circumstances of the case”.
“All circumstances” enables the court to take in any information that is relevant to the case even if these are not stated in section 25.
So what does section 25 say should be taken into account?
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
- The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
- The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
- Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
- The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
- The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
- In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit. Which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
All of the factors above are there to ensure that each case is dealt with fairly. It’s important to be aware that this does not mean equally. The court will take each case as it comes and will judge it fairly against all factors in section 25.
This may give you an idea into what your likely split could be.
If dependent children are involved the court will always look at the needs of them first.
This means that the children and custodial parent must have a secure home. Depending on your circumstance this may mean the custodial parent keeping the marital home to house the children until they reach a certain age.
Where possible its best to agree upon a consent order.If this is not possible the court may consider dividing the remaining assets for you. To do this they may take into account how they were first created.
Anything that hasn’t been decided on will be divided up into 2 categories ‘matrimonial’ and ‘non-matrimonial’.
Matrimonial means anything that has been acquired during the marriage and non-matrimonial means anything that was acquired before the marriage.
Pensions are also taken into account when it comes to divorce. Many women may not have a pension or may have a substantially low pension due agreeing to give it up in order to raise their children. If this is the case many women are likely to be compensated for this.
There are a few common myths when it comes to how your assets are split in a divorce.
Hopefully, this will help clear the 2 main ones up:
Can my individual entitlement change depending on what grounds for divorce are used?
The courts will very rarely reward or punish behaviour that has been carried out during the marriage.
However, if the ground for divorce was unreasonable behaviour they will look into what unreasonable behaviour this was. If violence was used then this may cause consequences when it comes to making arrangements for your children.
Another question that gets asked a lot is ‘does it make a difference who caused the divorce?’
You’ll be happy to know that it should not matter who caused the divorce. They will always make a fair judgment.
Wanting a consent order? We can help you
If you are able to come to an agreement with your spouse regarding your finances etc. We can draw up your consent order to finalise the division of assets.
It’s important to be aware that you cannot personally draft your own consent order. It has to be drafted by professionals.
This service will cost you £139 in total with no hidden charges. Saving you total of over £750 compared to a high street solicitor.
If you would like to find out more about us and our services speak to one of our friendly advisors today.
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Can’t come to an agreement?
If you cannot come to an agreement you will need help from a solicitor.
OLS Solicitors are a low-cost family law firm who will be able to help you with it all. It doesn’t need to cost thousands, they charge a fixed fee of just £499 plus VAT to draft your consent order and get it sealed by the court.
They will be able to offer you help and advice to calculate what would be seen as a fair division of assets.