The starting point for division of matrimonial assets in divorce is a 50:50 division.
However the Courts can and do depart from an equal division when it is fair to do so. Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 expects that the Court should give consideration to the following matters when dealing with finances on divorce, when weighing up who should get what:-
(a) The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future including, in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
(b) The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(c) The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
(d) The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
(e) Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
(f) The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
(g) The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be wrong to disregard it;
(h) The value of any loss of chance upon the divorce to either party i.e. loss of widow’s benefit under a pension scheme.
Each case must be looked at on its own merits. We would recommend that anybody entering into a divorce seek advice regarding financial matters prior to finalising the divorce proceedings, regardless of how much or how little assets you may have.
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