The number of marriages ending in divorce in England and Wales has increased over the past decade, with 103,592 divorces in 2020 compared to 101,055 in 2010. Although this statistic may vary each year, it is becoming increasingly important to disentangle the widely accepted idea that divorces are all financially complicated and difficult.
During a divorce, every situation is unique and should be treated as such. Therefore, this area of law is evolving in order to encompass more modern demands and situations. Since April 2022, England and Wales have issued the new no-fault divorce law, which entitles the stated reason for a divorce to be that the marriage has broken down, not (as historically) blamed on one or other individual. This has opened up the possibility for a cheaper, quicker and more amicable divorce.
However, one of the seemingly complicated aspects of a divorce is finance, and particularly how assets are divided. In this blog, we’ll explain what assets you may be entitled to and how they are divided during a divorce.
First, what is a financial settlement?
The financial divorce settlement determines how you separate and share your money and other assets. This can be decided at any point during the divorce proceedings, but once an agreement is reached your solicitor can draft a consent order – a legal document that makes the division of assets legally binding. This will then need to be approved by a judge.
What assets will you have to consider?
- Money – all finances should be taken into account, including savings, investments, debts, loans, shared accounts and credit cards.
- Property – this may include family homes, land, any properties abroad or rented buildings.
- Furniture and appliances.
- Life insurance.
- Any businesses or shared schemes.
There are some needs, factors and compensations that may affect these assets:
The starting point for all legal proceedings during a divorce is equality, with the aim of assets acquired during a marriage to be divided equally. But there are certain factors that must be considered in order to reach as much of a fair outcome as possible.
Firstly, details of the marriage will be taken into account, such as the standard of living during the marriage and its length. Secondly, each individual’s age, salary, living situation and any disability is considered, as it may affect the financial proceedings. Finally, one of the biggest and most common influencers of asset division is children.
If a couple in the process of divorce has one or multiple children, this adds further financial and legal aspects to consider:
It is expected that both parents of any child or children should contribute to the cost of raising them until at least 16. The Child Maintenance Service can be brought in during the divorce proceedings to help work out the details of this, including who pays certain amounts, with salaries and living situations again taken into account. It is important to know any specific circumstances that may affect the legal proceedings too; for example, whether a partner gave up work to look after any children.
It is also important to remember that when making financial provision for children during a divorce, the needs of the child is always paramount in any decision reached.
Overall, the main aim of dividing assets in a divorce is to work out the most appropriate financial outcome for everyone involved.
If you would like advice in relation to dividing assets during a divorce, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Hutchinson Thomas. We undertake a broad range of legal work serving both individuals and commercial clients. All of our lawyers are specialists in their area of law, and for many services we offer a free initial discussion where we will discuss all of your options with you.
Our mantra is “clear thinking”, and our focus is client satisfaction. Working with our specialised team, you will be guaranteed the highest quality legal representation by lawyers who understand your needs and exceed your expectations.
If you’re looking to talk to a solicitor, or just want to find out more, get in contact with us today: 01792 439 000 or https://hutchinsonthomas.com/contact-us/