A financial divorce settlement is an agreement about how to split your money and assets once the marriage is over. We at Western Solicitors are ready to assist.

A divorce financial settlement is an arrangement under which a couple's assets and financial affairs are separated upon divorce. "Ancillary relief" is the term used by divorce solicitors to describe all orders of a financial or property nature or that relate to pensions that a divorce court can make the following divorce, judicial separation, dissolution of civil partnership, or nullity proceedings.

If you need legal advice or help with any type divorce or family law matter, get in touch with our highly experienced family law solicitors in London on  0203 432 6006 or fill in our online enquiry form.

When can I apply for a divorce financial settlement?

After the family court has issued Decree Nisi and after both parties have exhausted the mediation process (where applicable), an application for divorce financial settlement can be made to the court.

You can normally get a financial settlement at any time during the divorce proceedings.  However, you can apply for financial settlement even after the divorce has been finalised. It's advisable to apply for financial settlement before your partner or you have remarried.

How are assets split in the financial settlement?

The judge has the final decision on how your assets will be split. The key factors which will be taken into account in an assessment of how any capital should be divided, as well as whether or not income should be shared, are as follows:

  • Children – their financial needs as well as other factors that may affect their future well-being;
  • The financial needs of you and your spouse;
  • The length of the marriage and your respective ages;
  • The current earnings of each party and the potential earning capacity of each party now and in the future;
  • Health issues affecting either you, your spouse or any children;
  • The assets of each party including pensions;
  • The standard of living you have had during the marriage;
  • The financial and non-financial contributions (such as caring for children and running the house) that each of you has made to the marriage;
  • It is only in very exceptional circumstances that the conduct of you and/or your spouse is relevant when dealing with financial matters.

The judge is only likely to consider a 50/50 split if you have been married for a long time.  The main consideration is the needs of those involved, including children. If, after consideration, the judge thinks that one of you has greater needs than the other, the assets can be split unequally.

If, for example, two young people divorce after a brief, childless marriage, it might be fair for them to each walk away with the assets they brought into the marriage, with neither paying the other maintenance.

On the other hand, suppose a couple has been married for 30 years, with the wife bringing up the children and looking after the home while the husband worked. A fair financial settlement might award the wife half the joint assets, including half of her husband's pension entitlement and a significant proportion of her husband's income until he retires.

This would reflect the value of the wife's contribution to the marriage as a homemaker and the fact that she would not now be in a position to suddenly start earning a large income.

If there are children, their needs including maintenance are dealt with separately as a priority.

Need legal advice & assistance?

Family legal issues can arise from disagreements on child arrangements, relationship breakdown, domestic violence and many other areas that can be legally complicated. Our family lawyers help to demystify the legalities of the family law system.

Our specialist family solicitors will help you navigate complex family law issues. We will break down every aspect of your case, explain the process in simple terms and give you clear and strategic advice on what to do next.

Contact our family law solicitors today for a free initial consultation and assessment.

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