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Financial Proceedings on Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Partnership

How Does The Court Decide What Is Right?

The court follows the legal principles from legislation and case law in making its decision. Although each judge has discretion to do what they perceive to be appropriate on the evidence in each particular case. This means the precise outcome of financial court proceedings can be quite difficult to predict.

The statutory principles are set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Schedule 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004. The court’s first consideration is the welfare of any children involved. Alongside that, when determining an appropriate division of resources, the court considers:

Other principles have become part of the law through the decisions of senior judges in important cases. These dictate that the court must be fair, considering each party’s needs and any compensation payable to one party. Also the sharing of any wealth above that which fulfils each party’s reasonable needs.

When dividing assets, the court will measure the end result against a benchmark 50/50 asset split. To assess whether anything other than that is justified. It would be usual to expect that there would not be a 50/50 asset split. Where one person’s (or the children’s) needs require a higher proportion of the capital assets. For example for housing, or sometimes where one person came into the marriage with significantly greater assets than the other. A 50/50 split is actually quite unusual.

An agreement made before or during the marriage can also have a significant effect on what the court decides.

What Can The Court Do?

The tools that the court uses to divide up financial affairs apply to all property in which either or both of you have an interest. (Which may also, in certain circumstances, include assets in companies or trusts):

How Can I Achieve The Right Resolution?

Every case is different and the appropriate resolution will always be dependant on the specific circumstances of the case.

Understanding the provisions of the law and how to put forward your case to achieve the best outcome is complicated. It requires a clear understanding of the law and knowledge of how best to apply the legal principles.

Our family team consists of qualified family law solicitors, lawyers and legal executives, all which have many years of relevant experience in family law and will be able to give you clear and specific advice on how to present your case, applying the law to your case, to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Get in touch

Hart Reade are here to help you in Eastbourne, Meads, Hailsham and Polegate.  All departments are fully operational and ready to progress matters quickly.

If you would like to get in touch with one of our Family Law Solicitors, then please call 01323 727321. Or alternatively, please fill in the form below and someone will be in touch.

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Greg SaundersAuthor: Greg Saunders. Partner, FCILEx

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice. You should always speak to a legal professional to discuss your circumstances and consider your options.