Divorce Entitlements

Divorce Entitlements

You can ask our online solicitors for advice on divorce entitlements using the question box on the front of our website or the following free legal advice guide may answer your questions. 

When going through a divorce, there are lots of things to think about including what are my divorce entitlements. It can be an upsetting and stressful time for both parties. As divorce proceedings commence, one of the most significant factors that must be addressed is assets and finances. Knowing your entitlements in terms of assets and possessions is important and will make the process as easy and efficient as possible.

divorce entitlements

Divorce Entitlements

In some marriages, there may be one spouse who is financially dependent on the other. If this is you, it is important that you have adequate funds available to live once your divorce is finalised. Often, people will stay in an unhappy marriage for many months or even years due to the financial stability that it brings.

There are a number of reasons why you may be financially dependent on your spouse. This could range from giving up work to raise a family or leaving work due to ill health. Other reasons include that you may have relocated and your spouse agreed that there would be no need for you to work because their salary was high enough. Whatever the reasons, areas of finance can become complicated, particularly if you depended on them.

This is where the law is there to protect you, to ensure that you are not left financially worse off after the divorce. The law will approach each case objectively and will take your situation into consideration, acting with fairness at all times on divorce entitlements. There are multiple options open to the courts to determine how assets and finances will be split and there may be occasions where you are entitled to receive regular payments from your ex to maintain your income.

50/50 Split

There is a common misconception that you may be automatically entitled to 50% during divorce proceedings. The only situation when this would apply is when you both make a legally binding agreement.

The courts will take a fair and impartial look at the finances, property and assets and explore a number of factors such as when deciding divorce entitlement:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The income of both parties
  • Whether there have been any sacrifices by one member of the couple to financially support the other
  • Financially dependent children
  • Cost of living
  • Assets
  • Who will be living in the family home or whether both spouses will need to find new homes.
  • The welfare of any children will always be placed at the centre of any decisions that are made. Courts will ensure that assets are fairly distributed, typically with an equal share of property, assets and income. The amount that you receive will depend on the investment you made to the marriage and the vulnerabilities of each party in the future.

Divorce Entitlements Living Costs

The cost of living is on the increase and following a divorce, returning to single life can be a challenge. Of particular concern to spouses who are financially dependent is how they will meet the cost of living once the divorce is finalised. During the Court’s review of the situation and when determining the financial settlement, they will take this into consideration.

There are situations where you may be entitled to Spousal Maintenance after divorce payable by your ex. This is typically awarded if your spouse earns significantly more than you do and has been supporting you financially throughout your marriage.

The Court will undertake calculations to determine whether the spouse who earns more will have surplus funds from the income once their expenses have been met. They can then set out the need for the spouse to give regular payments to help the financially weaker spouse to cover their living costs. These payments can run until the financially weaker spouse remarries or for a certain period of time.

The Spousal Maintenance payment will be calculated based on the length of the marriage, your age, income and health.

Clean Break

You may not feel comfortable receiving ongoing financial support from your spouse after a divorce and would rather have what is known as a ‘clean break’. If you are entitled to Spousal Maintenance but wish to request a clean break you could instead request a lump sum as part of the divorce settlement or request that your spouse buy out your claim for maintenance.

This however, would only be possible if your spouse was financially able to pay the lump sum. Often, this is not possible due to financial limitations.

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