Divorce can be a challenging time for any couple, it is highly emotional and both parties are facing considerable uncertainty, particularly in relation to financial settlement.
Where one party is filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, it is not uncommon to feel like they should be in some way compensated in the financial settlement for the wrong that has been done to them and the difficulties they have faced as a result of their spouse’s behaviour. However, whilst the behaviour of one spouse may be the cause of the relationship breakdown, it is a common misconception that this has a direct impact on the subsequent financial settlement.
It is extremely rare that either personal misconduct or financial misconduct in a marriage will affect the financial settlement in divorce. Generally, grounds for divorce are considered to be irrelevant when it comes to financial settlement. Whilst this may seem unfair to the party that has suffered as a result of their spouse’s behaviour, all financial settlements must be made in line with the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The act stipulates that in most cases, the assets of the spouses must be split according to the needs of the parties and other statutory criteria set out in the act.
If you are filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, the conduct of your spouse will be relevant to the proceedings but will rarely be taken into account in terms of financial settlement. The personal misconduct of your spouse will need to be particularly severe in order to justify the reduction of a spouse’s financial settlement. Examples from past cases include serious assaults on spouses such as where a wife stabbed her husband.
In terms of financial misconduct, problems with gambling or excessive spending will often fall under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Courts are more likely to consider financial misconduct in relation to financial settlement than personal conduct, but again this is generally an exception.
Divorce is a difficult time and often, one party may attempt to anger or antagonise the other during the divorce process. There may also be attempts to hold up the proceedings, or failure to make full disclosure about assets. However, this will generally have no impact on the financial settlement.
I have years of experience in helping clients from a range of backgrounds achieve a successful divorce, making the process as pain free as possible.
I offer a range of family law services including; divorce, fixed fee divorce, financial settlements, child law and related family law matters. When you entrust your family life with me, you can be sure I will treat your circumstances in strict confidence and always keep you informed of how your case is progressing. To discuss your case with me, call today on 0161 509 6662.
I look forward to helping you find peace of mind.