Legal Q&A: How will the Court decide how our assets should be divided upon divorce?

A. There is no set formula to calculate the division of assets arising out of divorce proceedings. The Courts however must consider Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (“S25 criteria”) when making a decision on how the assets should be fairly divided.

Within S25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 various factors have to be considered, such as: children of the family and their ages and health issues; the income and earning capacity of both parties; financial needs and obligations of both parties; age and health of each party; contributions made; conduct; and standard of living enjoyed throughout the marriage.

The starting position for any marriage is a 50/50 division. From here the parties negotiate deviation from an equal split based on arguments relating to the above S25 criteria. If you have instructed a solicitor, they will do this for you on your behalf. Some of these factors will be less or more relevant depending on the length of the marriage, for example, the longer the marriage, as a general rule, the less relevant any contribution made by a party to the marriage will be. Each case will be determined on its own merit. As everyone’s circumstance is different, some S25 criteria will be more relevant than others.   

If you would like further advice, please contact Lesley Knight at Hegarty Solicitors on 01733 295 6210 or email lesley.knight@hegarty.co.uk