How are Assets Divided in a Divorce?


If you are about to go through a divorce, you may be wondering how your assets with a partner will be divided. The Matrimonial Courses Act 1973 is going to be helpful to find out what the court may do. Before diving into the information, it is important to remember that every divorce can be different.

How Long Will a Divorce Take?

A common question asked related to the divorce process is “how long does a divorce usually take?” The quickest a divorce can be obtained will be between four to six months. Of course, this is if there are little disagreements between the couple. If there are problems to do with the division of assets or custody of children, this will delay the divorce proceedings and it can take longer. This means you should not expect a quick divorce experience.

The Starting Point

Most courts will start offering the couple 50 percent each of any assets they have. This often provides for a fair distribution of assets collected throughout the marriage. You both enjoy an equal share.

However, this 50/50 split is going to depend on the individual circumstances of that marriage and breakdown. For example, one partner may receive more from the divorce than the other. There may be arguments over assets and property and this is going to take longer for a court to investigate. There are going to be a number of factors that the court will take into consideration in order to make the right call.

Factors the Court Will Consider

One of the factors that courts will look into when dividing assets is the financial needs of the couple. They may have responsibilities and obligations that need to be accounted for. In addition, they will take into consideration anything to do with money in the future.

The standard of living during the marriage will be looked after before the marriage breakdown. The best will be done to ensure both partners are able to sustain this moving forward. Personal factors that courts look at are the age of the people involved in the divorce and the duration of the marriage.

A lot of spouses want to know what will happen to the house after divorce. Normally, the house will be referred to as a matrimonial asset. If there are children from the marriage, this is going to be something that the court will take into consideration. For example, it is likely that the home will be awarded to the person that is the primary carer to the children. There will still be a balance sought between the parties and this does not mean that the other parent will be left with nothing. But the welfare of the children will be an important factor.

The contributions of the years of the marriage will be taken into account when dividing assets. Thus, the court considers the value each spouse contributed and whether anything they have done would be considered unfair.

Two Important Principles in Divorce

There are two principles that will be underlying in the decision taken by the court. The first one is sharing. The court views every marriage as a partnership. In other words, any assets attached to that marriage should be shared.

The second principle is compensation. The court will always look at financial affairs and what happened during the marriage. For example, your behaviour during a marriage may affect the chances of you enjoying some assets after divorce. The focus is always on fairness when it comes to dividing assets during divorce proceedings.

Spousal Maintenance

It is possible that spousal maintenance may be awarded to one partner during divorce proceedings. This is a payment that is paid from the husband and wife to the other partner after divorce. This is something that can help the other person until they are back on their feet. This can be a lump sum to help or it can be in monthly payments for convenience for an arranged amount of time.

Child Maintenance

If there are children involved from the marriage, it may be necessary to award child maintenance payments to the primary carer. It can also be called child support. The purpose is that both parents contribute to the upkeep of the children, whether this is paying for tuition or buying uniforms and books. All living costs can be covered by child support, as long as it is for the child.

It can be possible to sort child maintenance outside of court. You can agree with your partner and the other can pay a fee every month for this upkeep. However, if it is not possible to agree on child maintenance, mediation can happen or the courts can decide. This is going to be taking into account the personal circumstances of your family, as well as everything from a child’s needs to the incomes of the parents.