What is a fair divorce settlement?

Divorce can be a challenging time for anyone, and it's important to ensure that both parties come to a fair settlement. The division of assets can be a complex process, and it's essential to understand your rights and obligations. In this blog, we'll explore what a fair divorce settlement looks like in England and Wales. The law differs in other jurisdictions.

Firstly, it's important to understand that the law does not provide a formula for calculating a fair divorce settlement. Instead, it considers a range of factors to determine what is reasonable and equitable.

One of the primary factors is the length of the marriage. In general, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the assets will be divided equally, certainly as a starting point. However, this is not always the case, and other factors will be taken into account.

The financial needs of each party will be considered. This includes the income and earning capacity of each person, as well as their expenses and any debts they may have. The court will seek to ensure that each party can maintain a reasonable standard of living following the divorce.

The contribution of each party to the marriage will also be assessed. This includes both financial contributions and non-financial contributions, such as caring for children or supporting a spouse's career. The court will consider both direct and indirect contributions when assessing this factor.

Other factors that may be taken into account include the age and health of each party, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, and any other relevant circumstances.

It's also important to understand that not all assets will be divided equally. For example, if one party has inherited a significant sum of money, this may be considered a non-matrimonial asset and may not be subject to division, although this is not always the case, particularly if they are required to meet the needs of both parties.

In general, a fair divorce settlement is one that considers all relevant factors and seeks to achieve a reasonable and equitable outcome for both parties. This may involve dividing assets equally, or it may involve a more complex arrangement that takes into account the specific circumstances of the marriage.

It's important to seek legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations when it comes to divorce settlements. A qualified family law solicitor can help you navigate this complex process and ensure that you achieve a fair outcome. If your assets are substantial or complex, you are likely to also need to speak to a financial planner who specialises in divorce.

Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at tamsin@smartdivorce.co.uk or arrange a free initial meeting using this link. She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…

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