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Finances on Divorce – What Am I Entitled To?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Following a divorce, the Court can make orders in relation to finances.

The question I am often asked by clients is “What am I entitled to in my divorce settlement?”. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

The Court retains a wide discretion when dealing with a financial application on divorce. It can make orders in relation to any matrimonial asset including property and pensions. Where a matter is decided by the Court, the Judge will refer the facts of each specific case to what is known as the Section 25 Checklist.

It can be summarised as follows:

  • Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of each party.
  • Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
  • Standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage.
  • The age of each party and the duration of the marriage.
  • Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage.
  • Contributions of each of the parties.
  • Conduct of each of the parties.
  • Any benefit either party would lose as a result of the divorce.

In practice, the Court’s primary consideration will be the welfare of any child of the family which will often mean their income and housing needs.

In order for a solicitor to advise any client as to a fair settlement on their divorce, financial disclosure must take place. When receiving instructions from  a new client we will look to see if it is possible to exchange financial disclosure on a voluntary basis, in order to avoid the costs of taking the matter to Court.

We will then apply the facts of each client’s case to the above checklist and look to reach a fair settlement. We can also refer clients to mediation if appropriate. If settlement is not possible at that stage, we can issue Court proceedings, so that the matter gets timetabled through to a conclusion with the Court’s input.

Common issues we encounter include:

  • Family home in one spouse’s name.
  • Disparity of pensions.
  • One party bringing the majority of the assets into a marriage.
  • One party with limited/no ability to work.
  • Disparity of income.
  • Disagreements over which assets are matrimonial and non-matrimonial.
  • Limited assets.
  • Family business.
  • High net worth.
  • Short/long marriages.

Regardless of the circumstances of your case, our Legal 500 recommended team can guide you through the process in order to reach a financial settlement.

If you are going through a divorce and want to protect your financial position, call us today for a free consultation.