The court's approach

How a family's finances should be arranged on divorce, does not follow a formula. Instead, the court will share out the assets in a way that is fair to both of you.

People have very different views about what “fair” means. However if you and your ex are trying to agree a financial arrangement (with or without the help of lawyers or mediators) you need to know what the law says so that you can:

  • reach an agreement that reflects your legal rights and responsibilities
  • turn your agreement into a legally binding court order (called a "consent order")

The court has a very wide discretion to decide who gets what.  This flexibility allows the court to take into account a family's individual circumstances and find a tailor-made arrangement.  However, this flexibility can make it difficult to predict with any uncertainty what decision a judge will arrive at. 

The court will always: 

  • put the welfare of your children first
  • take into account all of your family's circumstances including all your resources, your standard of living, your ages and the length of your marriage
  • ensure that your and your ex's needs are met, ideally leaving you financially independent of each other if possible


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