What am I entitled to in a divorce settlement?

What each half of a couple is entitled to when divorcing will depend on several factors. It is a mistake to think that assets including property, pensions, savings, and investments are automatically split 50:50.

When the Courts are asked to resolve financial issues, they will follow guidelines set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act, to justify why their decision may not include an equal share. Often one party may get more than a 50% share, based on the welfare of any children from the marriage, and their need for a home, food, clothing, and other necessities.


What factors do the Courts consider?

Initially the Courts will look at each person’s current and future sources of income from employment, benefits, investments, and pensions. This also includes any employee benefits, such as company cars. The Courts will take a long term but realistic view on potential future earnings based on a person’s skills, opportunities, the possibility of retraining and trends within the job market.

They will then consider what the needs and responsibilities of each person involve. This includes any existing financial obligations and more importantly the need for homes for both parties, as well as any children. Any disabilities that require extra resources will also be considered.

Most separating and divorcing couples will have to accept a reduced standard of living and the job of the Court is to ensure that this is borne equally.

Also important is the length of the marriage and the age of the couple. A long marriage where one party may have sacrificed a job or promotion to care for the family will involve many considerations, particularly where future earning capacity is limited. The Courts will always look beyond financial contributions to consider caring and family duties.


How are matrimonial assets valued?

Where a couple cannot agree on the value of their assets, experts are called upon for their estimates. These assets could include property, pensions, investments, jewellery, art, and antiques.

Any debt, whether in sole or joint names is considered as a matrimonial debt.


How to resolve financial issues and avoid going through the Courts

It’s important to remember that any decisions made by the Courts are legally binding and we would always encourage separating couples to try to reach an agreement between themselves. This can often be achieved using mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.

What’s more, going to Court is expensive, stressful and given the backlog of cases in the family courts, a long drawn out process.

At Tisshaws we are committed to non-court resolutions in the face of family breakdown. We have two trained Family Mediators, four trained Collaborative Lawyers and can organise Arbitration Hearings.


If you are thinking about divorce, we offer a no obligation 60-minute initial consultation for £50 (incl. VAT). This meeting will give you an insight into how the law applies to your specific circumstances. To book a consultation, please call 01444 472700, email info@tisshawssolicitors.co.uk or complete the form below.

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