It can be a tough decision to make when it comes to ending your marriage. When a couple decides to part ways and divorces each other, many other issues come up, such as financial settlement, child arrangements, and more. One of the most concerning issues with divorce is the settlement. Divorce can be a long and costly process, especially when children are involved. You must understand your rights and claims in advance. This can be quite a stress-reliever and help you manage your expectations.
When you have to get a divorce in the UK, one partner may agree to pay a lump sum amount or continue spousal maintenance payments to the other partner. Both are methods that have been designed to help the partner who may have a weaker financial condition after the divorce. Many couples prefer a clean break, but it is always not possible.
In the UK, the usual ratio of dividing the assets between both the partners getting divorced is 50:50. Nonetheless, the financial settlement can be different in every case based on parties’ needs and circumstances. One party may get a bigger share than the other.
Define Matrimonial Assets or Property
Matrimonial assets or property is also at times, mentioned as Matrimonial Acquest. It includes every property or financial assets that have been developed during the marriage by both the partners. However, it doesn’t comprise any inheritance or gift received by any of the partners. Generally, these assets mainly include the marital home where both the partners lived together, pension, savings, other real estate properties, cash in bank accounts, vehicles, market securities, furniture, appliances, businesses, and other similar assets.
There are also non-marital assets that were acquired by any of the two partners before or after the marriage period. They are treated differently from matrimonial assets. They might or might not be excluded from the divorce settlement. It mostly depends on various circumstances and agreements that might have been drawn between both the partners before or during the marriage.
At times a clean break of financial assets is a better option when the divorcing couple is dividing the property and assets amongst them. A clean break includes ending all the financial connections between you and your soon-to-be ex-partner agreeably after the divorce. When you are going for a clean break, through Court and financial agreements, no partner has to make spousal maintenance payments or anything afterward.
Lump-sum to get a clean break
In this, one partner pays enough money to buy the maintenance claim of another financially weaker partner. If you are looking for a clean break, then it would be better to talk to your solicitor before you take any step. Moreover, the partner who is paying the lump sum doesn’t have to pay the whole amount in one go. It can be paid in installments as well. While in Northern Ireland, both partners must agree with the clean break settlement, in England and Wales, the Court can force you to take a lump-sum option.
Spousal maintenance is the payment made periodically by a former partner, be it husband, wife, or a civil partner. This maintenance is only paid when a partner is unable to support herself or himself financially without spousal maintenance amount. The amount you will be paid will depend on several factors, such as how much you would need to live comfortably, your current income, your potential earnings in the future, and more.
If the marriage has been for a shorter period, i.e., for less than five years, then the spousal maintenance might not be paid at all or paid only for a short period.
However, if the marriage has lasted for a longer period, and the ex-partner is not valid or fit to work, then the spousal maintenance might be paid, even for life. It might continue until one of the ex-partners dies.
Usually, the spousal maintenance ends when the payment term set by the Court has ended, one of the ex-partners has died, or the ex-partner who has been receiving the maintenance enters another marriage or civil partnership. It might not always end when the receiving partner enters into another partnership or marriage, but the partner who is paying maintenance can use this as a reason to apply in the Court to reduce the amount of maintenance.
Divorce and Income
Both the divorcing partners would be responsible for increasing their earnings. It is important so as not to rely solely on the other partner for livelihood, especially if they are capable of being independent, be it partially or entirely. On the other hand, there can be cases where one partner might not be able to work due to health concerns or because they have to take care of their young children. This can also affect financial matters during the divorce procedure.
The Court can order the change of property that was jointly owned by both husband and wife so that its ownership can be transferred to one of the partners in the divorce settlement.
Young Children’s Requirements
In cases where young children are involved, they might need the house while they are still minors. If the parent who will take care of the children can manage the maintenance of the property, including the mortgage, the Court holds the right to keep the house property as a children’s home. The other partner/parent/spouse would have to wait to get their share.
Considering Financial Requirements of Every Party
When deciding on the divorce settlement, the Court takes into consideration each party’s needs and circumstances such as
- The living standard of both the parties during the marriage
- Age of both the partners
- Mental or physical disability (if any)
- The financial contributions of both the parties (needs of the partners will also be considered)
- If the contribution made by one party is significantly more than the other partner, it might be taken into consideration by the Court.
- If one party is the main provider (wage earner) and the other is homemaker, then this will be counted as an equal contribution.
There are several things to be considered when you are divorcing your partner. It would be better to talk to your family lawyer before moving ahead with any decision you might have made.
A divorce solicitor can help you decide which of the five divorce facts you want to use and explain what evidence you need. They can also represent you in court – making sure you get the best result.