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Divorce Settlement: Who gets what?

A divorce settlement which is fair to both you and your spouse is key to being able to move on with your lives. Separating your finances when you divorce is an important part of the divorce process.

In this article, we’ll explain what a divorce settlement is and how a divorce settlement is calculated.


What is a divorce settlement?

For couples who are going through a divorce, the financial side of the relationship breakdown can cause a great deal of worry.

‘Divorce settlement’ is a term which describes how the finances of a couple are to be divided when they divorce. Your divorce settlement can detail everything from how you divide your property, to how any savings and debt will be shared upon divorce.

It is important to note here, that in England and Wales, the divorce process itself does not deal with a couple’s finances. The divorce settlement often runs concurrently with the divorce process. However, getting a divorce does not automatically end the financial relationship between you and your spouse.

divorce settlement


Why do I need a divorce settlement?

If you and your spouse agree on your divorce settlement, the next step is normally to get it made into a legally binding consent order.

Without a divorce settlement, your ex-spouse may be able to make a financial claim against you in the future. There is no time limit for making financial claims against an ex-spouse.

This is why it’s vital that a binding court order, detailing your divorce settlement, is obtained.

If you are not able to agree on your divorce settlement, you may have to go to court and ask a judge to decide for you. This is normally viewed as a last resort, as it can be time-consuming and costly.


How is a divorce settlement calculated?

Generally, the starting point is a 50/50 split.

However, a court will aim to divide assets in a way which is fair and equal. A 50/50 split is not always the outcome.

Various factors will be considered when determining your divorce settlement, including:

• Your role in the marriage (homemaker, primary earner etc.)
• Your ages
• How long you’ve been married
• Your standard of living
• Your earnings (and potential future earnings)


Can a divorce settlement be reopened?

A divorce settlement can be reopened but it is very rare for this to happen. Once a consent order has been obtained, the financial ties between a couple are broken and the ability to make financial claims is no longer possible.

Changing a divorce settlement is an extremely complex area of law and legal advice should be sought.

As always, it’s highly advisable to seek independent legal advice regarding your divorce settlement. Speaking with a solicitor experienced in this area of law, such as Austin Kemp, as early on as possible in the process, can help you to understand your rights with regards to the divorce settlement and build solid foundations on which to begin negotiations with your spouse.


Other articles that may be of interest to you?

How long does a divorce take?

What is the divorce process?

When is decree absolute granted in a divorce?

Decree Nisi – What does this mean in a divorce?

What are the first steps to divorce?

Is a cheap divorce really possible?


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with divorce

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to divorce, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on divorce

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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11th March 2020

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