We appreciate that the process of getting a divorce can be a daunting task. This is why we offer a free 20-minute appointment so you have the opportunity to meet with a team member to demystify what is potentially a complex area of law where assets are involved. The Family Justice Council recently published a Guidance Note for parties to consider the financial implications of divorce.
The main areas of focus when looking at the division of assets are to consider the parties’ financial needs and objectives. This may seem fairly straightforward but we appreciate when clients are faced with detailing these needs in the forms this can become complex, especially given that there is no legal definition of ‘financial needs’.
The starting point is to explore:
What are needs, and at what level should they be met looking at the ‘circumstances of the case’?
The duration of provision for needs and the transition to independence.
We then need to break down these needs when looking at:
- Children’s welfare and needs (where applicable);
- Housing and other capital;
- Maintenance and income;
There are many topics that arise when considering such needs, which includes some ‘myth-busting’ of things that many people believe the law says which are not true. The above list is non-exhaustive as the ‘needs list’ ranges extensively, which includes the parties standard of living to contributions made to earning capacity.
The equality of sharing assets can be a contentious issue. Baroness Hale stated in Miller, McFarlane as follows:
“…equality of outcome is difficult both to define and to achieve. Giving half the present assets to the breadwinner achieves a very different outcome from giving half the assets to the homemaker with children”.
We understand that the objective is to gain the transition to independence, which is possible in all the circumstances. There are different orders that may fit the relevant circumstances.
If you have any queries and just want some guidance to navigate through the process please do not hesitate to book an appointment with us.