What am I entitled to if I get divorced from my husband? banner


What am I entitled to if I get divorced from my husband?

  • Posted on

Many people say that one of the worst things about getting divorced is the uncertainty. Not about the divorce, because they know that they are going to get their decree absolute of divorce, but the uncertainty surrounding what they are entitled to get from their husband when the divorce is finalised. In this blog we answer some of your questions about financial settlements on divorce.

Online divorce and financial settlement solicitors

As online London based family law solicitors the expert team of specialist divorce lawyers at OTS Solicitors can advise on how on your best financial settlement options and how to secure a financial court order. For divorce, financial settlementor family law advice call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form  to arrange a Skype, video conference or telephone appointment.

What will I get if I divorce?

It is understandable that many people want to know what they will get as a financial settlement if they decide to divorce, but want that information before they commit to talking about a separation with their partner. Life is all about balancing competing issues, and for some, armed with divorce and financial settlement information and initial legal advice, their decision will be to stay married.

It is often the case that a husband or wife has no knowledge that their partner has even sought family law advice about what they would be entitled to on divorce as it is often best to keep the consultation with divorce lawyers private to yourself (or to close family only) until you have decided whether separation and divorce or staying together is the best path for you.

For others, there may be no choice as their husband may have made the decision for them; by moving out of the house or saying that they have met someone else and that the marriage is over. Sometimes a husband's declaration that he is leaving and wants a divorce is presented with his planned division of family assets so a sense of urgency can be felt over the need to take legal advice on what you are entitled to as a divorce financial settlement.

What you will get if you divorce will depend on a whole range of factors as in England the family court doesn’t use a mathematical or set formula to work out the financial settlement. That means a divorce lawyer can't immediately tell you that the rule is that you will get eighty percent of the family assets if you have two children under eighteen or nothing if you have been married for less than two years and don’t have children together.

Divorce solicitors like to achieve financial settlements as quickly as possible as that is normally what is best for a husband and wife who’ve taken the decision to separate. However, the speed of the information about what you will be entitled to as a financial settlement should not be compromised or influenced by the pressure that you feel under because your partner wants you to agree to a sale of the family home or says that it isn’t necessary to wait and get pension information or investment valuations.

What can you expect to get as a divorce financial settlement?

On divorce if either a husband or wife make a financial court application the family court has the power to make the following types of financial court orders:

  • Spousal maintenance –  spousal maintenance can be time limited or for life
  • Order for the sale of the family home and the court can direct what amount or percentage of the net proceed of sale the husband and wife will each receive
  • Order for the deferred sale of the family home , for example, the sale is deferred until the youngest child reaches the age of eighteen, and the net sale proceeds are then divided in accordance with the court order
  • Order for the family home to be transferred to the husband or wife, subject to any mortgage on the property. Whether this is possible to achieve may depend on whether the mortgage company will agree to the transfer and the release of one party to the mortgage. The mortgage company decision will be influenced by the amount of equity in the property and the earnings (and spousal maintenance if any) of the partner staying at the family home
  • Order for the sale or transfer of ownership of a family business or investments
  • Order for the payment of a cash lump sum
  • The sharing of a pension – that is normally through what is called a pension sharing order
  • Limited types of child support, for example, child support for step-children, top up child support or payment of school fees. The family court only has limited powers to make child support orders because of the operation of the government body, the Child Maintenance Service, tasking with assessing and enforcing most types of child support payments.

The above orders are the types of orders that a court has the power to make. You won't necessarily be entitled to receive all the different types of family court orders but what you will get the court to order will totally depend on:

  • If you have dependant children under the age of eighteen
  • Your personal circumstances and those of your husband. For example, your ages and health as those types of factors may influence say your pension needs or your earnings capacity and spousal maintenance needs
  • Your financial circumstances and those of your husband – this will involve the court looking at what are your family assets and if there are what are termed ‘non-family assets’ whether those assets need to be shared to meet your reasonable needs
  • Your contributions to the marriage – when it comes to contributions to a marriage the court is clear that the contributions of a homemaker and breadwinner are equally valid and important. However, if your marriage is short and without children and your partner owned all the assets before the marriage this may affect the size of the financial settlement. Alternatively, if you signed a prenuptial agreement then this may affect the contribution argument as the court is likely to take into account what was agreed in the prenuptial agreement if the appropriate safeguards were followed when you and your husband signed the document.

Many husband and wife's assume that they can only get a financial settlement and get what they are entitled to by making a financial court application but that isn’t necessarily the case as you have lots of options, such as:

  • Solicitor negotiations – these can be quick and effective provided you have proper financial disclosure from your husband and you are in a position to make informed decisions. Any agreement reached can be incorporated into a financial court order at the decree nisi stage of the divorce proceedings and you don’t normally need to go to court to get an agreed financial order
  • Family mediation supported by legal advice. For family mediation to work you need proper financial disclosure and supportive legal advice. Any mediated agreement should be converted into a financial court order as part of the divorce process. If you can't reach an agreement in family mediation then solicitor negotiations may reach a resolution or either one of you could start financial court proceedings
  • Family arbitration. In family arbitration an arbiter makes a binding financial decision, a bit like a private family law judge. Arbitration has the advantage of speed and privacy but again you need both financial disclosure and legal advice to make sure you get the best financial settlement for you and your family. The arbitration award can be converted into a financial court order as part of the divorce proceedings.

What can a divorce solicitor tell me about what I am entitled to at a first meeting?

Most people want to know what they will get as a financial settlement at their first meeting with their divorce solicitor and are frustrated if they can't get an immediate answer but equally they don’t want to receive the wrong answer. You can get the ‘wrong answer’ if your divorce solicitor doesn’t have all the financial information or supporting financial paperwork. That is because what can seem like a generous financial settlement may not be once you have had the family home valued and know the amount outstanding on the mortgage or you know the real value of your husband's pension or business or your solicitor has been through the financial disclosure and discovered additional assets. These are all reasons why it pays to get the best family financial settlement legal advice so you not only know what you are really entitled to as a divorce settlement but you don’t live to regret not taking legal advice or rushing into a settlement.

Online divorce and financial settlement solicitors

The specialist family lawyers at OTS Solicitors have lots of experience of working remotely using the latest secure technology to secure financial settlements by negotiation, financial court proceedings, mediation or arbitration. If you need advice on what you are entitled to in your financial settlement or need help with a separation or divorce  or advice on any other aspect of family law call London based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. We will set up a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment for you with a friendly and experienced family law solicitor.

    Get in touch

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.