Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
Reaching a financial settlement on divorce is governed by section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, so it is vitally important to have help from expert divorce solicitors who will be familiar with this law and the way it is usually interpreted by the Court.
It will save time and costs in the long run to reach an agreement which the Court is very likely to judge as being fair – and our divorce solicitors can assist in getting this right early on in the process.
In determining what is ‘fair’ when resolving your financial matters on divorce, the court will consider all the factors of your marriage and all the assets which exist.
Here is the list of factors the court will refer to that are contained in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973:
- the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resource which each of the parties to the marriage has, or is likely to have in the foreseeable future. This includes in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which it would, in the opinion of the court, be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire
- the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
- the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage
- any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage
- the contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family
- the conduct of each of the parties, whatever the nature of the conduct and whether it occurred during the marriage or after the separation of the parties or (as the case may be), dissolution or annulment of the marriage, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it
- in the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring
- in cases where there are young children, the Court’s first concern will always be the welfare of those young children and how their needs will be met. In reality, the decisive factor in the majority of cases is the reasonable needs of the parties and the children of the family.
Our divorce solicitors will have all these factors in mind when discussing a possible financial settlement with you, and can guide you regarding the options open to both parties.