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I am getting divorced and my spouse wants to split our assets 50/50. Is that the fairest thing to do?

A photo of Judith Wheeler
31st January 2023

Many divorcing couples assume that the assets of their marriage should be divided equally between them to achieve a fair financial settlement. There are others who believe that pensions should not be taken into account and that any pension should be retained by the spouse who has made the financial contribution to it. These are common misconceptions and can inadvertently lead to unfair outcomes.

Whilst there is no ‘rule’ that the assets of a marriage are shared equally between the spouses, it is certainly the starting point. In many cases, that will be the fairest outcome for both parties, however, there are a number of factors which need to be considered before a settlement can be agreed.

‘Fair’ does not always mean ‘equal’ and the court’s primary consideration will be the needs of any dependant children.

It may be appropriate to depart from an equal division of the assets in certain circumstances. When considering financial settlement, the court will be concerned with the following: -

  1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
  4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
  6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family;
  7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that in the opinion of the court it would be inequitable to disregard it;
  8. The value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution of the marriage one party will lose the chance of acquiring (i.e. pensions).

Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer and each case will be decided on its own facts. A financial settlement which is based on misleading or incorrect assumptions, could leave one party financially disadvantaged both short and long-term.

It is important to seek legal advice before you agree terms of settlement with your spouse.

Our Family Team are here to help you. With offices at Hinckley (01455 610747) and Leamington Spa (01926 887700), contact us to arrange your initial consultation.