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Finances - The Law

The law on financial matters when couples divorce is contained in sections 21-40B of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.  The Court can make the following orders:

Order for sale of a property
Order for transfer of a property
Order for a chargeback
Order for payment of a lump sum (immediate or deferred)
Order for spousal maintenance
Pension sharing (and other pension orders)

Section 25A of the MCA tells the Judge that when he decides to make an order he must consider whether or not it is possible to terminate the financial obligations of each party as soon after the grant of decree (divorce order) as is just and reasonable.  These are known as “clean break” orders.  This means cutting as many of the financial links between the parties as soon as this can be achieved, both property and income.  Child maintenance obligations carry on regardless of any clean break in respect of other financial matters.

Section 25 tells the Court that it must look at all the circumstances, but it must focus on the following:

Welfare of the Children

Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future

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, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it

The value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring

The welfare of any child of the family is the first consideration the Court must think about.  Lots of other things are relevant but the children are always the top consideration.

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given in relation to such materials. Hodgsons Law shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website. Jo Hodgson is the sole director of Hodgsons Law.