The finances are the most difficult aspect of a separation in the majority of cases. Resources are limited and people and parties generally want to retain as much as they can for themselves. The concepts behind the finance and divorce settlements are largely the same i.e;
- The overriding principle applied is fairness and in most instances the starting point for a division of the financial is on equal basis.
- However that ‘equality’ is generally overridden by taking into account the needs of the children and if the income of the parents is significantly different eg:
Case Study 1
Married couple in their 30’s with two young children aged three and five; wife in part time low paid employment and husband in well paid full time employment; equity in the matrimonial property modest; in this sort of case it may be that wife retains the matrimonial home because she cannot get a mortgage herself or adequately downsize and therefore the house can be retained by her until the children grow up or wife remarries or cohabits. Speak to our family law experts to learn more.
Case Study 2
Married couple in their 50’s with children who are grown up but are still at home albeit not in full time education; parties are both in full time employment but with differing incomes; generally the house would be sold with a starting point for the division of the equity on an equal basis. However as wife earns significantly less than husband she could receive more capital from the matrimonial property (e.g. 60/40) so that husband does not have to pay her maintenance.
Case Study 3
Married couple in late 30’s with similar incomes with three dependent children; matrimonial home is sold and proceeds divided equally on the basis that they wish to share care and wish to obtain two smaller properties to accommodate the children. Read more about children and divorce here.
Case Study 4
Married couple in late 50’s with no dependent children, jointly owning property with relatively small mortgage; wife however has pension funds accumulated through years of service in the public sector whereas husband has no pension having been employed and self-employed without any pension provision; property is to be sold with an equal division of the equity with a view to both parties downsizing or renting but husband gets 50% pension share of the wife’s pension fund as he has no pension provision.
Case Study 5
Married couple in their 40’s with modest matrimonial home with a small amount of equity. Wife has worked in low paid employment and has little prospect of increasing her earning capacity; husband has worked in better employment and has a pension entitlement upon his future retirement; husband agrees to transfer his interest in the matrimonial property to the wife on the basis that wife agrees not to claim against his pension.
Case Study 6
Married couple in early 40’s with two teenage children; equity in the property is reasonable and husband has significant pension through his employment whereas his wife has got modest pension; wife agrees as primary carer of the children to sell the matrimonial home using 2/3 of the equity to purchase a smaller property in her sole name; husband receives 1/3 of the equity on the basis that his housing needs are less and he has a higher income so is better able to afford a mortgage; wife receives a pension share which will provide her with equality in the present level of pensions ( taking into account her own pension which is offset against the husband’s greater pension).