How are assets divided in a divorce? A simple guide

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Considering your divorce options? Maybe you have already made the difficult decision to separate from your spouse or civil partner.

At Freeman Jones Legal, we understand that divorce isn’t a quick and easy process – especially when it comes to divorce and splitting assets.

Luckily, however, our qualified team of divorce solicitors has years of invaluable experience with divorce and splitting assets in the UK, allowing us to make this potentially emotional and distressing process as straightforward and pain-free as possible.

Below, we explore the average division of assets in divorce for a UK settlement and which factors can affect the way in which these assets are split between the two parties.

We also explain whether a solicitor is required to help with this process – regardless of how well you get on with your former partner.

Do you need to divorce to divide your matrimonial assets?

No, you don’t necessarily have to divorce if you and your partner can agree on how to divide your matrimonial assets. However, if you only want to seek a legal separation at this stage and decide not to get divorced and officially end your marriage, then you will still be married to your partner.

If you do decide to separate but stay legally married, then you must apply for a consent order to ensure your agreement regarding the division of assets (both property and money) is legally binding. This is because your ex-partner still has the legal right to claim against your finances or assets until they re-marry, or a financial consent order has been put in place.

As a result, while a divorce may not be strictly necessary, obtaining a financial consent order and reaching some sort of financial settlement, is.

Typically, however, most separated couples will divorce at some point to allow them to re-marry in the future.

Are assets split 50/50 in divorce in the UK?

No, not all assets are split 50/50 between the two parties in a UK divorce.

While a 50/50 split between the two parties will often be the starting point for the division of assets in divorce, this doesn’t necessarily mean this is what both parties will end up with as there’s no set calculation or rule to determine who gets what.

This is because the splitting of assets is designed to ensure both parties end up on a fair financial footing, meaning a 50/50 split isn’t always as fair as it may seem.

To do this accurately, a variety of factors need to be taken into consideration. This includes their standard of living prior to separating, the length of the marriage, any physical or mental disabilities, and the contributions either party has made to their family.

The income, housing, age and number of dependents, as well as the resources of each party will also play a part in determining the percentage split of assets. Every divorce case is viewed as unique, so there’s no way to accurately guess how your assets will be split if you need to seek court action to come to an agreement on your financial divorce settlement.

What is the average split in a divorce settlement UK?

While a 50/50 division of assets in divorce is the typical aim for most UK courts dealing with divorce cases, often, the percentage split is weighted in favour of one party.

As mentioned above, outside factors will always affect this ideal equal split, so percentage splits of 60/40 or 70/30 are not uncommon.

Do I need a solicitor to help with splitting assets in divorce?

No, there is no legal requirement to hire the services of a divorce solicitor when it comes to divorce and splitting assets in the UK. This is because you can make these decisions between yourself and your ex-partner – especially if you’re separating on amicable terms and can come to a quick and easy finance and assets arrangement.

However, many divorcing couples will choose to use a solicitor even if there are no bad feelings between the two parties, either as a one-off consultation or to simply receive expert legal advice. Divorcing couples that cannot agree on a financial divorce settlement, on the other hand, should definitely consider hiring a specialist divorce solicitor.

While court action is one legal avenue that a solicitor can help you to explore in the event of a disagreement, they can also try to draft a mutually-agreeable financial settlement using mediation, skilled negotiation, and dispute resolution. Taking your divorce case to court is often the last resort as it only draws out the divorce process and costs both parties more money.

Make division of assets in divorce simple

At Freeman Jones Legal, we’ve helped countless clients amicably divide their assets without the need for potentially costly court action.

Instead, our expert team of divorce solicitors has years of experience using a variety of methods to prevent this difficult time from becoming drawn out and even more expensive.

Alongside helping our clients to achieve a fair financial divorce settlement, we can also help you to draft comprehensive child custody arrangements and solve cohabitation disputes. We can employ everything from dispute resolution and mediation to skilled negotiation and even court action, if required.

If you’d like to find out more about divorce and splitting assets, please feel free to get in touch with our professional legal team. As a leading law firm in the Chester area, we welcome enquiries and have offices in Wrexham, Liverpool, Warrington, and North Wales.

To discuss dividing your assets in divorce or to find out more about any of our legal services, why not speak to a member of our team by calling us on 01244 506 444? Alternatively, you can also get in touch sent via email or using our online contact form.

However you decide to get in touch with our team, we look forward to hearing from you and arranging your free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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