I have recently separated from my wife/husband and I want to know, how will our financial assets be divided?

Financial claims can arise from 3 main areas when dealing with and dividing the overall matrimonial pot. These are capital (e.g. property, money in bank accounts, investments), income (maintenance) and pensions. The latter is often missed when married couples who separate do not get early legal family law advice.

In order to receive correct legal advice, Family Law Solicitors would advise that full financial disclosure from both the Husband and Wife is needed so we have a clear picture of what is in the matrimonial pot including the up to date figures/valuations. This includes getting bank statements, wage slips, pension valuations and accounts.

Once financial disclosure is complete, we then apply a series of factors, which the Court takes in to account, when working out what a fair and reasonable settlement would be. This is an art and not an exact science as the Court could make a wide range of settlements.

Whilst the starting point could be equal division of the pot, there are a number of factors that could be taken in to account which means there would be a departure from a 50/50 split to achieve fairness to both sides. In summary the factors which are taken into account are as follows:-

  • The welfare of any minor child
  • The income, earning capacity, assets and financial resources of each person
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of each person
  • The standard of living within the marriage
  • The age of each person and the length of the marriage
  • The health of each person
  • Whether any significant contributions have been made by either person (financial or non-financial)
  • Either person’s conduct
  • Whether either person would lose certain rights e.g. pension benefits

Once the above factors have been taken in to account and using the figures within the matrimonial pot, we can give clear advice as to potential proposals for settlement and then help negotiate that financial settlement.

As this can be a potentially complex area, particular in cases where a spouse has no idea what is in the matrimonial pot overall, it is vital that family legal advice is sought at an early stage. This also includes getting the advice and support of a financial adviser and also tax specialist if necessary.

Maguire Family Law is a niche family law practice made up of highly specialised solicitors and so the team lives and breathes family law issues and disputes on a daily basis. We are committed to providing a professional and efficient service, which is cost effective. We offer constructive and pragmatic advice from the outset of any case and come highly recommended by our clients and other professionals that we work alongside with.

If you have any queries about divorce or separation then please either visit our website www.family-law.co.uk or contact us either on 01625 544 650 or by email info@family-law.co.uk quoting “Smart Financial”. We have meeting rooms in Knutsford, London, Manchester and Wilmslow and offer initial face to face consultations or advice over the telephone and email.