Reaching a Financial Settlement in Your Divorce Case: What You Should Know
When you are reaching a financial settlement, you need to understand how the court considers this aspect of divorce. Broadly, a judge considers fairness in this case to mean that each parties’ requirements for capital, income, or housing are sufficiently met.
This sufficiency relates to the listed matrimonial assets. However, that does not mean everything will be split 50/50. The court distinguishes between matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets, including anything that is accrued after a separation.
Examples of non-matrimonial assets may include the following:
- Valuable gifts that were given by one of the parties to the other
- Inherited belongings
- Business assets that were acquired before the marriage
- Assets obtained after separation
Proving the Existence of Pre-marital Assets
The existence of pre-marital assets must be clearly shown. In other words, the party must show that the assets were in existence prior to the union and that they were not intermingled with other assets in the marriage. If it can be argued that specific assets are non-matrimonial assets, they may be removed from the divorce financial settlement in North East England.
How the Court Decides
The two primary questions answered by the court when deciding on a settlement include the following:
- How long has the couple been married?
- Do they have children?
The judge may also consider which party contributed what to the marriage. If one of the parties contributed a substantially higher income, it does not mean that he or she will receive a higher settlement. Also, the court considers any misbehaviour displayed by one of the partners. Whilst fraud may definitely have some implications, an extra-marital affair does not usually hold much weight.
If a judge decides that half of the marital assets will not support the needs of one of the parties, he or she usually will award a greater amount to that party. Also, if a party in the marriage contributed a good deal financially, this is considered too.
Settlement Decisions That Involve Children
If children are part of the union, the court will try to set up the finances so that the children can enjoy similar lifestyles with each of the parents.
What Marital Assets Are Considered
The longer the marriage lasts, the larger the settlement for the dependent partner. Marital assets that are considered include property, pensions, share options, family trust interests, and savings. If there are not enough assets to meet a recipient’s needs, the other party may be mandated to remit maintenance payments.
Prenuptial agreements are not legally enforceable in England. However, the presence of such a contract can assist a judge in finalising a divorce case. These types of agreements are more likely to be considered if the couple has not been married for a very long time and does not have children.