The breakdown of a long-term relationship inevitably has emotional, practical and financial repercussions. When a marriage or civil partnership is dissolved, UK divorce law states that each party is entitled to a share of the matrimonial assets. However, how these assets are divided is the crux of most divorces.

What are you entitled to?

If you’re separated or thinking about getting a divorce, it’s essential to know what your rights are. Firstly, it’s important to determine exactly which assets are defined as ‘matrimonial assets’. Typically, these include the family home, as well as pensions, savings and physical assets, like cars and possessions.

When determining how these assets are split, the courts apply the law set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. According to this Act, the needs and welfare of any children under the age of 18 will be given first consideration in relation to divorce finances. This means that, if you and your ex-partner share children, the distribution of assets will be decided, first and foremost, with reference to their well-being.

As well as evaluating the assets you currently own, the Court will look at various factors when assessing divorce finances. These include:

  • The earning capacity, savings, income and pensions of each party, both during the marriage and in the foreseeable future
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • The financial responsibilities and needs of both parties now and in the foreseeable future
  • The age of both parties and the duration of the marriage, as well as any physical or mental disabilities either party may have
  • Financial and non-financial contributions made by both parties to the family

How are assets divided?

Splitting matrimonial assets isn’t always straightforward. Due to this, the Courts have the power to issue a number of orders when dealing with the financial matters of a UK divorce. These include:

  • Pension sharing
  • Transfer or sale of a property
  • Child maintenance
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Payment of a lump sum

It’s important to note that divorce finances are rarely resolved using just one type of asset division. Instead, a combination of solutions is typically used to ensure the entirety of the matrimonial assets can be distributed fairly between the parties.

Getting legal advice

UK divorce law is complicated, particularly when you’re dealing with the emotional and practical impact of a relationship breakdown too. Due to this, it’s important to access legal advice as swiftly as possible. By seeking assistance from experienced family solicitors, you can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce proceedings. Additionally, your solicitor will be able to assess your situation in detail and give you a clear idea of how the assets are likely to be split.

With offices in Birmingham, Leicester, London and Nottingham, Bond Adams LLP is perfectly situated for clients across the country. Our experienced team specialise in all aspects of family law, including financial remedies, divorces and child custody. To learn more about the divorce process or to access confidential advice today, talk to our team on 0116 285 80 80.

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