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Divorce - What are the Rules?

View profile for Philippa Buckland
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Yesterday I came across an article where a reader had posed a question as follows:

“My marriage is in crisis and I am wondering who has more rights on the property.”

The reader went on to say that he had paid the mortgage in entirety himself and also an endowment policy. At his age of 61 he was wondering what he would do in the future should his marriage not survive.

The answer was that there are no hard and fast rules. And this is certainly correct. Each marriage is different and although an equal division of all of the assets (including pensions as well as property) is a starting point, the division of matrimonial assets will depend very much on need. In short, the financial need for income and property of either spouse is more of a priority than the overall financial contribution made by either spouse. If there are dependent children, this is the most important aspect a court has to consider.

The article went on to suggest that it would be best to reach an agreement and that mediation could be considered as an option.

However, I believe it is very important for all people contemplating a Divorce to seek the advice of a Family Law specialist first, as each individual case turns on its own facts. There may be an issue that has been completely overlooked by the husband or the wife, for example one or other of the spouses ability to work, whether there are dependent children, disability and the ages of each party and their ability to provide for their own futures independently.

Everyone wants to reach an amicable conclusion to their divorce, but having the knowledge of what a reasonable agreement would look like is a very important part of the process.

The full article in the Guardian can be read here.


Philippa is experienced in all aspects of family law but specialises in divorce and the financial consequences of marital or relationship breakdown. If you require expert individually tailored advice, please do not hesitate to contact Philippa on 01792 525409 or philippa.buckland@jcpsolicitors.co.uk.

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