Dividing assets in a divorce

When you’re going through a divorce, you might well have an idea in mind of how you’d like to see any assets split. Very often, we find that clients assume that a fair division of assets in divorce means an equal split, with each party getting 50%.

After all, you both bought the house together, so surely you are entitled to half each – right?

Fair but not necessarily equal

This most certainly isn’t always the case. If one person took some time out of working full time so that they could look after children, and therefore couldn’t contribute as much to the mortgage, does that mean that they aren’t eligible for 50% of the house? One person might not have the same earning capacity as the other due to ill-health, or perhaps they look after shared children for the majority of time. Courts will take all these factors, and more into consideration when working out how assets should be split.

Anita Laws, senior associate at Cartridges Law, says: “Many people come to us and assume that they’ll be entitled to a 50% share of any jointly owned assets. But whilst 50:50 might be equal, it most certainly isn’t always fair. I work with my clients to ensure that they get a fair deal, but this might be more or less than 50% of the assets depending on all of the circumstances.”

Where to start when dividing assets

It’s worth bearing in mind that in the majority of cases, individuals will need to accept that their lifestyle will probably need to change once they have divorced. But Anita says that there are certain things that both parties can do to prepare, and which will likely make the process go far smoother in the long run.

When considering a fair division of assets in divorce, a good place to start is by putting together a list of all outgoings. Whilst doing so, look at how your life is likely to change once you have divorced. For instance, will you need to change your job? Are you going to need to take on more childcare responsibilities?

You could make a list of all your assets and debts. This might mean sharing any bank statements with your spouse or partner – if you are able to, being open and honest about finances will really make a difference. And it’s important to remember that any pensions are likely to be matrimonial assets and should be considered at the same time.

How can we help?

There are many ways to be prepared when it comes to divorce or separation. But the best place to start is by talking to an expert. Anita offers a free 30 minute consultation to anybody at the beginning of the divorce process – this does not amount to legal advice, but is an opportunity for her to understand your unique case, and how she’ll be able to help you.

Contact us or give Anita a call today on 01392 256854.