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How much is a spouse entitled to in a divorce?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

If your wife is seeking a divorce, or your husband has served you with divorce papers, then it’s likely that you’ll be keen to find out how much by way of a financial settlement “ you can expect to walk away with”.

Regardless of whether you’re eager to hold onto the family home or want to find out how much money you’d be entitled to in the event of a divorce, we can help.

At Wilson Browne Solicitors, our award-wining law firm can help to turn” the battleground of divorce” into a space of compromise, agreement and conciliation.

If you want to find out how much you, or your spouse, might be entitled to, carry on reading. We explore the assets that are taken into consideration during a divorce and which factors might influence the amount you’re entitled to.

Which assets are considered in a divorce?

Matrimonial assets include all the financial assets that are acquired during the time that you and your spouse are married or from the period that you started to live together before the marriage took place.

As a result, typical matrimonial assets include the family home (property), financial investments, vehicles, jewellery, art, investments, savings and pensions.

As a result, matrimonial assets often also include any property that was specifically purchased to be the family home (including any furniture that was purchased specifically for this residence) as well as any vehicles that were purchased to be the dedicated family car.

How much is a wife entitled to in a divorce?

In the UK, both parties (regardless of whether they are the husband or wife) are typically entitled to 50 per cent of the matrimonial assets.

Often, however, the circumstances of the marriage will dictate how much either spouse is entitled to, which can lead to one party receiving a larger proportion of the matrimonial assets than the other.

Which factors should be taken into consideration?

When it comes down to ascertaining who gets what in a divorce, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration by the divorce solicitors.

These factors are also referred to as Section 25 factors as they are specified in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. While there are no set rules, these factors are always considered and can give you an idea of what you may be entitled to.

They include:

  • The income and earning capacity of each spouse – according to both their current position and what they are likely to have in the foreseeable future
  • The property of each spouse
  • The financial resources of each spouse – including savings, pensions and investments
  • The duration of the marriage as well as the ages of each spouse
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of each spouse
  • The standard of living the married couple enjoyed prior to the divorce
  • The presence and degree of physical or mental disability of either spouse
  • The contributions to the welfare of the family – including contributions that have already been made and those that either spouse is likely to make in the foreseeable future
  • The conduct of each spouse – the conduct must be significant enough that it would be deemed unfair to disregard it in a court
  • The value to each spouse of any benefits that one spouse might lose as a result of getting divorced such as pension provision

While the above factors will be taken into consideration in a UK divorce court, the primary consideration will be given to the welfare of any children. Even if the children are not the most important factor to consider, ensuring they are looked after is often the first concern that a UK court will tackle.

In general, a UK divorce court will operate on two key principles – sharing and compensation. Sharing simply refers to the fact that marriage is viewed as a partnership in the UK and subsequently, any benefits of the marriage when it comes to an end should be equally shared between the two parties. Divorce courts will often have this principle at the heart of any settlement they decide upon.

Compensation, however, refers to the way in which the couple’s finances were managed during their marriage and how one party may have subsequently lost financial assets. As a result, the court arranges for them to receive compensation to make up for any financial assets that they may not have had the opportunity to accrue during their marriage.

ne spouse may be compensated, for example, if they became a full-time mother during their marriage. Instead of having time to accrue financial assets in the form of pensions or salaries, they will have dedicated years of their life to running the household, raising children and generally upkeeping the household.

Ultimately, the aim of the Section 25 factors and the sharing and compensation principle is to help the divorcing couple to achieve a fair settlement. While there is some uncertainty when it comes to figuring out how much you might be entitled to in a divorce, finding out more about your own and your spouse’s financial assets will help your solicitors to obtain the right outcome.

Still wondering ‘what is my spouse entitled to in a divorce in the UK’?

At Wilson Browne, we have years of experience helping our clients through what can be one of the most difficult stages of their lives – divorce and dividing assets.

To ensure we offer them unparalleled legal support and outstanding customer service, all our family law practioners are members of a community of committed family justice professionals that aim to constructively resolve issues, Resolution.

For more expert legal advice or to find out how much your spouse might be entitled to if you decide to get divorced, feel free to contact our experienced team of divorce lawyers today.

To find out more about how we can help, call 0800 088 6004 or complete our online contact form.

Helen York


Helen York


Helen is a Family Law Solicitor with a long-established reputation for acting on behalf of clients across the county, for over 25 years. She has been advising and assisting clients on all aspects of relationship breakdown since 1985 and specialises in divorce proceedings, helping clients…