Dividing Money and Belongings During a Divorce? Here Are 3 Things You Need to Know

Divorce is overwhelming, and it’s so easy to accidentally do the wrong thing, or operate on the wrong assumptions. Here are three things you need to know as you consider how you will split your assets with your ex-spouse. 

It doesn’t have to turn into a slanging match 

We’re used to seeing dramatic representations of divorce on film and TV, where couples argue incessantly over splitting their money and possessions. Most of us tend to think of divorce as an inherently acrimonious process where each individual has to ‘fight their corner’ to get what they feel they are owed. 

This can and does happen, but it doesn’t need to – and, whether or not you have children, it’s always preferable to end things on a cordial note, even if you’re not exactly planning on staying good friends after the decree absolute is issued. 

Mediation is a great alternative to trying to talk it out together. A ‘neutral territory’ overseen by an unbiased third party who understands things from a legal perspective, rather than an emotional one, is infinitely better than an argument in what was once your marital home. 

Divorce solicitors who also specialise in mediation, like Willans.co.uk, are an excellent resource for this. While talking may not be enough – and, eventually, you decide you need to work with a divorce solicitor to take things further – it sets the stage for a more agreeable conclusion to your relationship. 

50/50 may not always work

Often, a 50/50 split of any shared assets is seen as the fairest way to split assets, but there are plenty of situations where this isn’t the most productive option. 

For instance, if you have any children, then whoever has primary or sole custody will arguably have more financial needs than the other. At the same time, certain provisions need to be made for the other party – this is why it can get very complicated.

If you share property together and want the children to have the stability of the same home, then it’s likely ownership will need to pass onto the primary carer. Sometimes, couples agree to a situation referred to as birdnesting, where divorced parents take it in turns living at home with their children. While it may work for some couples, it’s an incredibly complicated emotional commitment to make, particularly if you want to get closure on your previous relationship. 

Often, when divorcing couples share children, the divorce will need to be taken to the courts to work out the best possible solution. 

3. Sometimes, behaviour and conduct are taken into consideration

It’s important to point out situations where one individual’s bad behaviour is used against them during financial claims in court are in the minority, and that conduct has to be particularly poor to warrant any penalisation. 

This conduct is considered only when the court finds that it would be ‘inequitable to disregard it’, according to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. We have only seen truly exceptional cases of bad behaviour be considered by the court. If you’re wondering whether your case would fall under that category, talk things through with your solicitor and avoid partaking in any hostile behaviours with your ex-spouse. 

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