A court will consider each case on its unique points when deciding how to divide assets in a divorce. It is important to note that people are free to negotiate the division of their assets and arrive at an agreement between themselves without the court’s involvement.

If the matter comes before the court, it will consider Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which outlines several factors that should be considered. These are, as follows:

  • Whether there are any children under the age of 18, their needs and who they live with
  • Age of each person in the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Value of assets before, during and after marriage
  • Earning capacity and responsibilities during marriage and in the future
  • Each person’s contribution financially and non-financially e.g. caring for the family
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Conduct of each person
  • Overall needs of each person
  • Whether anyone has a mental and/or physical impairment

Once the court has considered the above factors and made a final decision, it will formalise it by declaring an order. The court can make several orders, as follows:

  • Lump sum payment
  • Sale/transfer of property
  • Pension sharing
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child maintenance

It is important to understand that each case is unique, and the court will make an appropriate order based on those unique circumstances. It is therefore not the case that the court will order assets to be split equally between people in every case.

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