It’s a myth that assets are automatically split 50/50 in divorce. It is true that the starting point in trying to reach a Financial Settlement in Divorce will always be 50/50 – but what the end result will be depends on a variety of different factors.
If the matter ends up in Court, a Judge will look at ensuring the financial and housing needs of both parties are met. They will look at each individual’s income, whether or not there are any children to consider, as well as how long the couple have been married.
What is the first step in reaching a Financial Settlement in Divorce?
The first thing we always advise for couple’s stuck in the middle of any kind of dispute is to attempt what we call the ‘kitchen table discussion’. This is where you will try to resolve the matter with your ex-partner through a calm conversation. You could invite them over for a coffee, or discuss the matter on the phone if that best suits. Reaching an amicable agreement without the need for legal intervention will always be the cheapest way to get Divorced, but we understand that sometimes this can’t happen.
If you and your ex-partner can’t agree on how you will divide your assets, the next step we would advise is Mediation. Mediation is held by a neutral legal professional who will try and help you both to sort through your differences and reach an agreement.
What exactly is Mediation?
Mediation is a way of sorting through any disputes or issue that may arise when going through a Divorce. A third party person – known as a Mediator – will sit with you both in hope that you will come to an amicable agreement without having to go through the Courts. It is a cost-effective way of reaching a Financial Settlement in Divorce.
The process of Mediation is non-compulsory – meaning both parties can choose whether or not they would like to attend. We always advise attempting Mediation, as it prevents further costs and stress by having to involve the Courts. A Judge will also like to see that both parties have at least tried to resolve their issues before opting for a Court Order.
What happens if Mediation fails?
If you still haven’t resolved the financial dispute through Mediation, the next step is making an application to the Court. It will then be up to a Judge to decide how your assets will be divided. Unfortunately this may require attending Court for a number of Hearings.
How does the Court make a decision?
The judge will base their decision on principles from legislation and case law, as well as their own discretion regarding the case at hand. If children are involved, the Court will consider their financial needs first. They will also consider other factors, such as:
- The present and future financial needs of both parties
- The age of both parties and length of the marriage or civil partnership
- Resources and earning capacity of both parties
- Standard of living enjoyed before the breakdown
- Significant contributions made by the parties to the relationship (this includes contributions of a non-financial nature)
How can I get in touch?
If you require any assistance with your Divorce, our team of Family Law Specialists are on hand to support you through the process. You can send us a message through the Contact Form on our website, or call the team directly on 0161 402 0213