When it comes down to divorce, your main concern may lie with what is going to happen to your assets and how they will be divided. In this article, we’re going to explain what assets are divided in a divorce.
Once a divorce has been finalised, this doesn’t mean everything is done and dusted. There still comes the child arrangements, if applicable, and deciding on a divorce financial settlement. This is where you will make the decision on how your shared assets will be divided between you both.
Finances during a divorce can be a concern for many, with fears about losing hard-earned assets, such as savings, investments, and pensions, becoming very real. Keep reading to find out more about what assets are divided in a divorce…
The Types of Assets in a Divorce
When it comes down to asset division during divorce, there are two types, and these are called matrimonial assets and non-matrimonial assets:
Matrimonial assets are assets that were obtained during the period of marriage. Examples of matrimonial assets include:
- The family home
- Other property
- Home possessions, such as furniture and appliances
When it comes to a divorce settlement, matrimonial assets will be the assets that the court takes into consideration and decide how they will be split between the involved parties.
Non-matrimonial assets are assets that were acquired before or after the duration of the marriage. Examples of non-matrimonial assets include:
- Home possessions, such as furniture and appliances
Most of the time, non-matrimonial assets will be excluded from a divorce settlement. However, there are occasional circumstances where it is required to consider the non-matrimonial assets, most usually where the matrimonial assets aren’t enough to provide sufficient provision for either party.
How Are Assets Split During Divorce?
Many people presume that, during divorce, each spouse will get 50/50 of the assets. While this is most usually the aim, it isn’t always the case because every divorce is different and each party will have different circumstances. So, don’t listen to your friends when they tell you that you’ll receive half; they could be very wrong, and you could be left disappointed.
The assets that each party will receive during divorce depend entirely on a number of factors, which are set out under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The courts will take into account the following factors:
- The current and foreseeable income, earning capacity, and other financial resources each party has or is expected to have.
- The current and foreseeable financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities each party has or is expected to have.
- The standard of living the family enjoyed during the marriage.
- The age of each party in the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- Any physical or mental disability each party in the marriage has.
- Any current or future contributions each party makes to the marriage.
- The conduct of each party in the marriage.
- The welfare of any children.
- The financial needs of any children.
Are Divorce Settlements Made by the Court?
No, not all divorce settlements are made by the courts. If you and your ex-spouse are able to divide your assets amicably and between yourselves without conflict, then the divorce settlement can be done this way.
There may be times when an agreement is unable to be made by just yourselves and, where this occurs, the court recommend trying alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as:
The most popular way to resolve divorce financial settlement disputes is by using family mediation. However, the one thing to keep in mind with this type of ADR is that it is not a legally binding agreement.
During the meeting, the parties and their solicitors will sit together with a trained neutral mediator. They will provide advice and assistance to find an outcome that both parties are satisfied with.
Both arbitration and mediation are very similar. However, the one difference is that arbitration is legally binding. During the meeting, the parties and their representative solicitors will meet with a trained arbitrator. Each party will present their argument, and evidence and from this, and the arbitrator will make a decision about what to do.
If you do manage to decide on an agreement by yourselves, it’s important to apply for a consent order which will make your agreement legally binding and prevent any future claims. When the court looks at a consent order, they will make sure that the agreement is entirely fair to each party and any children.
Your Assets Are Important
What we can conclude from this article is that the only assets you need to be 100 percent concerned about during your divorce is your matrimonial assets. These are guaranteed to be a part of your divorce settlement.
That said, while this is most usually the case, don’t forget that your non-matrimonial assets could be included depending on your and your ex-spouse’s circumstances.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained family law professional. Be sure to consult a family law professional if you’re seeking advice about your asset division during your divorce. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.