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Divorce and financial settlement FAQs

The divorce and financial settlement round up

The prospect of divorce and reaching a financial settlement can be daunting. There is a lot of information to absorb, as well as a lot of decisions to make. Understandably, you may be unsure where to begin.

Stowe Senior Associate Lauren Roche and Solicitor Abigail Jones from our Swansea office have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you navigate the beginning of your journey.

1. What will be treated as matrimonial assets?

In summary, everything you or your spouse has, whether in joint or sole names, will be recognised as a matrimonial asset, regardless of when it was acquired. However, there are limited occasions when there can be a departure from this provision. For example, assets acquired prior to marriage or post separation may be considered by the court to fall outside of the matrimonial pot for division. The courts approach however, to excluding assets is very strict and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is therefore very important that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to establish the extent of your matrimonial assets.

2. Will I automatically receive 50% of all of the matrimonial assets?

Not necessarily, unless you reach an agreement with your spouse to divide things equally. If you end up in court, an equal share of assets is a good starting point, but the court may adjust this if other conditions arise that support an unequal divide.

3. What if our contributions to the matrimonial assets were unequal?

All contributions to the marriage, including childrearing, are taken into account in the financial settlement. When examining the split of all assets, the starting point is 50/50.  However, when dealing with these matters, the Court has broad discretion and will consider all aspects of your case, with a primary focus on provision for children and housing needs.

4. Do I have to sell our family home?

Possibly. It will depend on a number of factors, including whether you or your ex-partner can raise sufficient funds to purchase the other person’s share. It is therefore advisable to receive an estimate of your borrowing capacity early on. Whether you need to sell your home will also depend on the size and composition of the remaining matrimonial assets and how these can be divided between you to meet each of your needs.

5. Does the fact that divorce proceedings have started mean that the court will address our financial settlement at the same time?

No. Additional steps will need to be taken in order to address and dismiss the financial claims that you have against each other by virtue of your marriage. If you do not dismiss your financial claims, then they may remain open which could in turn cause you financial difficulty in the future.  You could also face further issues if you re-marry before you dismiss your claims from your current marriage.  It is therefore very important that the dismissal of your claims is addressed by an experienced lawyer who can you guide you through the process.

It is important that you seek legal advice early on, as every matter is unique and there is no ‘one size fits all’. 

Useful Links

The financial risk of DIY divorce

How to trace your pensions

9 divorce myths debunked by a divorce lawyer

Get in touch

For more information about divorce and financial settlement, please get in touch with our Client Care Team using the details below or make an online enquiry.


The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.


  1. Chris Bell says:

    Thank you for providing this insightful blog post on the divorce and financial settlement process. Navigating the complexities of divorce can be overwhelming, especially when dividing assets and reaching a fair financial settlement.

    Your comprehensive roundup of key considerations and recent developments in this area is valuable for individuals going through the divorce process or seeking information on financial settlements.

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