Financial Settlements on Divorce or Breakdown of Cohabitation Checklist

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Following a divorce, it is important that the financial aspects are dealt with comprehensively so that both parties can move on with their lives with some degree of financial security.

There is a range of orders which the court can make, either by consent or at the conclusion of contested proceedings.


Our experienced lawyers appreciate that every family’s financial circumstances and needs are unique. 

The factors which are applied by the court on divorce are set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and are as follows:

  1. The 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, including in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that earning capacity which it would, in the opinion of the court, be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire.
  2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has, or is likely to have, in the foreseeable future.
  3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage.
  4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage.
  5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage.
  6. The contributions which each of the parties has made, or is likely to make in the foreseeable future, to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family.
  7. The conduct of each of the parties if that conduct is such that it would be, in the opinion of the court, inequitable to disregard it.
  8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of the marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit, which by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

The orders which can be made are orders for payment of maintenance for the spouse and any children, a transfer or sale of any property, payment of a lump sum and pension sharing or attachment orders. Certain of these orders can be varied subsequently if either of the parties’ circumstances change.

Following the end of a cohabiting relationship, courts have limited power to make financial orders, particularly where there are no children. Generally, they will apply different principles and can only make orders in relation to property or for financial provision for children.

We are able to advise in relation to financial matters following the breakdown of either a married or cohabiting relationship. In addition, we can offer mediation to try and resolve such issues. Please contact Deborah Prance on 01252 316316 for further information or to arrange a meeting.