The resolution of financial issues on the breakdown of a relationship or a marriage can be complex and contentious. 

However, that does not need to be the case. In addition to being able to provide you with specialist knowledge and expertise in the strategy and conduct of court proceedings, we can also offer you alternatives. These include effective negotiation, arbitration, mediation and collaborative law.

Financial settlements ordered by the court after a divorce (whether by agreement between the couple or after a contested court hearing) usually take one of two forms:

  • Capital provision (which can include a payment for housing) together with ongoing maintenance (which can be for a fixed number of years), or
  • What is known as a “clean break” order where one capital payment (perhaps by instalments) is made, completely ending the financial relationship between a couple.

The financial settlement will include financial support for any children. In the case of unmarried couples with children, this is dealt with on the Financial provision for children – unmarried couples page.

The court has the power to make these financial awards (known as financial remedy orders) using a wide variety of mechanisms including the transfer of property, shares or other assets, the payment of cash sums and/or the splitting of a pension. This is a discretionary area of the law so there are no fixed percentages or solutions.

To determine the appropriate divorce financial settlement for you, the court will follow certain specific criteria laid down by statute (section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973) and will take into account:

  • The length of your marriage
  • Your age and state of health
  • Your family’s standard of living
  • Income, earning capacity, property and financial resources now and in the foreseeable future both in this jurisdiction and worldwide
  • Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities
  • Contributions made to the family or which will be made in the future (which includes both financial contributions and contributions in other ways, for example by caring for children)
  • The value of benefits that would be lost on divorce (and includes potential future losses and, potentially, compensation)

An overview of the court process can be seen by referring to the Finances flowchart. We will advise you on the range of outcomes that a court might consider appropriate for you and your family and the different ways we can assist you in reaching a financial settlement when you are going through a divorce.

If you require assistance, please contact us or request a call from one of our lawyers.

Meet the Divorce and Family team

Our team is the pre-eminent divorce and family practice in the UK, ranked No.1 in both The Legal 500 and Chambers.

In an article in The Times, head of department Stephen Foster is “praised for leading Stewarts’ phalanx of family lawyers to the top of the pack”.

Debbie Chism, Partner, Divorce and Family, Stewarts