The court takes various matters into account with regards to financial arrangements between spouses or civil partners. The court first considers the welfare of any children under the age of 18 and, in particular, the court has regard to the following matters:
(a) The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future including, in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which it would be, in the opinion of the court, reasonable to expect a person to take steps to acquire.
(b) The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
(c) The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
(d) The ages of each spouse and the duration of the marriage
(e) Any physical or mental disability of each spouse.
(f) The contributions which each spouse has made or is likely to make in the foreseeable future to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family.
(g) The conduct of each spouse, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the Court be inequitable to disregard.
(h) The value to each spouse of any benefit which one spouse because of the divorce will lose the chance of acquiring (most usually pension provision).
The aim of the court is to achieve fairness. Often a key and decisive factor is the reasonable needs, especially housing needs of yourself and your spouse, which often overrides any possibility of an equal division of assets.
Applications for child maintenance except by agreement have to be made to the Child Support Agency.
Spouses or civil partners may apply for any of the orders on or after filing a divorce petition. However, with the exception for maintenance pending suit, the application cannot be heard until the decree nisi and no order will take effect until the decree absolute.
Our experts are able to assist you with financial disputes including the family home or pension provision. We can advise you on the merits of settling your case or pursuing an application to court. If this becomes necessary, we can arrange for you to be represented by an experienced barrister to ensure that you have the best outcome.