Does The Length Of My Marriage Affect My Divorce Settlement?

divorce settlement
Does The Length Of My Marriage Affect My Divorce Settlement?

The length of your marriage will affect your divorce settlement. In general, the longer you have been married, the more likely your divorce settlement will be based on an equal allocation of your assets. However, it is crucial to note that the length of your marriage is not the only element that will influence how your financial assets are divided. Divorce settlements are also determined by variables such as your ability to create money, your current and future needs, contributions made during marriage, and the requirements of any children. Understanding your rights in a divorce settlement can be difficult and frequently cause friction between you and your former partner. Our skilled divorce solicitors can provide the assistance you require when it comes to divorce settlements, ensuring that you obtain a successful resolution.

What constitutes a long marriage?

Determining what constitutes a “long” marriage is challenging. Long marriages are typically determined by the court on a case-by-case basis, as there is no clear legal definition. Marriages of more than 20 years are generally considered lengthy, whereas marriages of five years or less are considered brief. There is some ambiguity about what constitutes a longer-term marriage, and this is likely to change as marital lengths increase.

Does it affect my divorce settlement if I’ve been married longer?

When deciding on a divorce settlement, the courts will take into account “the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage,” as stated in the Matrimonial Clauses Act 1973. Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that a 30-year marriage will result in a larger divorce settlement than a two-year marriage.

Will a divorce settlement be different for a short-term marriage?

Yes. Short-term marital divorce settlements sometimes prioritise capital contributions over an equal (50:50) asset division. Whether or not a court application is filed, completing Form E is frequently the most effective option.

It is important to note that a 50/50 division in a divorce settlement is frequently used as a starting point for talks. Even if you have been married for a long time, an equal split of assets is not usually the consequence. It is more likely that you will receive ‘half’ in a divorce if you have been married for a longer amount of time, but this will be considered against a variety of other criteria that are likely to affect your situation in both the present and the future. So, whether you separated after 35 years or after only one year, you are not guaranteed an even split in a divorce settlement. It is contingent on the context of your relationship and separation.

What assets will be included in the divorce settlement?

All aspects of your finances will be considered when it comes to deciding who gets what in a divorce settlement.

This will typically include:

  • Capital assets and debts
    • Properties
    • Shares
    • Savings
    • Investments
    • Existing debt (individual and shared as a couple)
  • Pensions
  • Businesses
  • Financial support
    • Child maintenance
    • Spousal maintenance
  • Vehicles

When filing for divorce, both parties must file Form E financial disclosure paperwork. Completing a Form E document is typically the most effective way to gather all of the details necessary to negotiate a fair divorce settlement and determine what you and your former partner are entitled to receive.

What additional considerations influence settlements?

As previously noted, the duration of a marriage is not the only element that influences how a divorce settlement is handled. Other aspects to consider include:

  • The current and future earning capacity of each party
  • Any childcare arrangements
  • Contributions made during the marriage, both financial and otherwise (such as childcare),
  • Standard of living and ongoing living expenses
  • The property and assets available to be split (including things like pensions, businesses, savings and investments)

If you are unable to reach a consensual agreement, even after multiple rounds of negotiations, a court will be called upon to make a decision. They will conduct a thorough analysis of your situation and take into account all available assets.

Our legal team is available to assist you.

If you are uncertain about what you may be entitled to in a divorce settlement or need clarification on how the length of your marriage will effect your discussions, our skilled family law solicitors can help. We understand how unpleasant divorce settlements can be, especially because they are typically a topic of disagreement. Our professionals are here to ensure that you understand your situation and what a fair settlement might look like, allowing you to get a resolution that suits your and your loved ones’ requirements.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
24th April 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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