When you separate or divorce there may be financial issues to be resolved, including where you are going to live, how to share any assets that you have, or what monthly support is payable.
There are basic differences on how finances are divided on divorce and how they are divided on separation when the parties have never married.
If you were Married or in a Civil Partnership
If you were married or in a civil partnership divorce does not necessarily sever the financial commitments and it may be advisable to talk to a mediator or solicitor about how your finances are to be shared and how your agreement is made legally binding.
Points to note:
- Both parties’ assets are divided to meet the needs of the couple and this includes properties and assets tend by one spouse/civil partner in their own name.
- Pensions are often a valuable asset and how they are shared or rebalanced has to be agreed.
- Spousal Maintenance may be appropriate where there is one party who cannot afford to meet their needs and the other party has sufficient income to meet those needs.
- Your agreement needs to be made into a Consent Order and stamped by the court.
- One parent may be paying child maintenance to the other party CLICK HERE to find out how will the child maintenance be calculated?
If you are Unmarried
If you are unmarried but have been living together as a couple you have fewer rights than couples who divorce or dissolve their civil partnership.
With regard to property, the legal presumption is that the person in whose name the property is registered is entitled to the entirety of the equity in that property. This presumption can however be rebutted and the non-owner can pursue a claim for a share in the equity.
One partner does not have an automatic entitlement to share the pension assets of the other, although there are some exceptions if both parties have paid into a pension scheme in a sole name.
You have no right to receive (or to pay) maintenance to your ex-partner on the breakdown of your relationship. However, Child Maintenance is still payable and there are other claims available with respect to the children. In this case, you may need legal advice or help from a mediator.
You can read more on the following pages: