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The Divorce Lottery

Jan 12, 2018

It’s impossible to accurately predict at the outset what each party to a marriage will walk away with on divorce.

The picture becomes clearer as the process goes on, but the fact remains that divorce settlements are the result of various assessments and discussions. There isn’t a formula, and there is no right answer. To some, it may feel like a lottery.

But as family lawyers, we know that there is nothing random about who gets what – not when it comes to the main assets, anyway, and certainly not when it comes to children of the relationship. Children will always be the main priority, not just of their parents, but of lawyers and of the courts. Their financial and other needs should be the starting point in any separation or divorce.

We always encourage clients to try to work with their ex-partner to agree arrangements for the future care and financial security of their children. Where possible (and we recognise that it isn’t always), that co-operation should continue when it comes to working out each party’s financial entitlements and the division of assets. The sorts of things that should be taken into account – and which will be considered by a court, if it comes to it – include each party’s:

-         existing and likely future earning capacity;

-         standard of living;

-         financial needs and obligations;

-         age, and the duration of the marriage;

-         contribution to welfare of the family; and

-         conduct, where it would be unfair to ignore that.

 All assets are a potential cause for disagreement, but the division of the family home is often the most difficult for a separating couple to deal with. While a parent with sole residence of a child or children of the marriage quite often remains in the house, there are other options. These include selling up and each of you buying a new property.

As with every aspect of divorce, what is right for you may not be right for all. It’s a very individualistic process that requires attention to be paid to every small detail of your personal circumstances. That said, it also calls for perspective. You may find your solicitor advising you to pick your battles, or to compromise on one aspect in return for getting something that really matters. Ultimately, it’s this ability to see the bigger picture that keeps divorcing couples out of court.  And if you and your ex-partner can reach agreement between yourselves,  then you’re both winners.

For further advice and assistance, contact our Family team today, who will be happy to assist you.  Tel: 01264 353411, email: family@bsandi.co.uk or fill in our no obligation, online enquiry form and we will contact you.


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