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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need legal advice on a fair financial settlement?

We offer a consultation with experienced family solicitor for a low fixed fee. You will receive legal advice and a written report outlining your legal position and setting out what a fair settlement would look like based on your individual circumstances.


Short/Medium/Long Marriage?

  • MontyPython
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12 Mar 10 #191623 by MontyPython
Topic started by MontyPython
Just a quick question that may be of interest to many...
How does a judge define the length of a marriage? ie How many years is a short/medium/long marriage when you come to the divorce stage?
Do all judges apply the same rules? and Do they all include co-habitation or does this have to be proven?
Supercali xx

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13 Mar 10 #191687 by MontyPython
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Everyone on hols or something? Or am I the only one without a social life this weekend?
Supercali xx

  • feelfoolish
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13 Mar 10 #191688 by feelfoolish
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lol i am thinking the same - i can't answer your question sorry but just to let you know that i too am waiting for a response on my query in AR.

  • Ursa Major
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13 Mar 10 #191697 by Ursa Major
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Ladies

I have been rummaging around on this and other sites and it would appear there is no legal definition of a "long" or "short" marriage.

The general consensus seems to be that over ten years is a long marriage and less than five is short.

If you have children however this would appear to negate the length of marriage debate as the needs of the children are paramount (England and Wales)and unless there is buckets of spare cash swilling about then the children need to be housed, clothed and fed.

Both parents are expected to support themselves, however if one is unable to because of childcare, or disability or they are disadvantaged in the labour market because they have previously taken time out to raise children then they will be awarded a greater percentage of the pot.

If one partner chooses not to work (especially if they are the NRP) Judges will look at their earning potential when making awards. For example if the NRP says "I'm giving up my job, it's not worth it if I have to pay you that much" the judge is more than likely to say "Do as you please but if you do you still have to find the money from somewhere".

BUT judges have a huge amount of discretion and can come up with some quite bizarre decisions at times. However most of them have been around a long time and are wise to every trick in the book from both sides to get the best possible financial outcome.

Terribly woolly answer I know but that's family law for you.

  • Fiona
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13 Mar 10 #191704 by Fiona
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There is no definition - there are cases of 3 years which have been described as not short and others of 12+ years taken as shortish. As a rule of thumb 20 years is long and up to ten years may be seen as short.

With cohabitation it is the nature of the relationship that is important. A period of cohabitation of two or three years before a short marriage when there are no children and finances have been kept separate will have little impact. On the other hand, a period of cohabitation ten or fifteen years before marriage when there are children and the finances were joint can be added to the length of a short marriage.

However, it needs to be remembered that the duration of the relationship is only one factor and there are others in the s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 checklist which have to be taken into account.

  • expertinhindsight
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01 Apr 10 #195707 by expertinhindsight
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Ursa Major wrote:

If one partner chooses not to work (especially if they are the NRP) Judges will look at their earning potential when making awards. For example if the NRP says "I'm giving up my job, it's not worth it if I have to pay you that much" the judge is more than likely to say "Do as you please but if you do you still have to find the money from somewhere".

That interesting to read because you hear of so many Fathers that refuse point blank to stump up after a divorce.

If a divorced Father comes out of a divorce with no assetts & decides to give up his job to avoid paying maintenance....what can a judge do? Would the Father be jailed for not having an income or assets to meet the payments?

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01 Apr 10 #195712 by Fiona
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It would be very shortsighted of a breadwinner of either gender to give up their job to avoid paying child maintenance. Children from separated parents often do badly because of the lack of money so making financial contributions is one of the most important contributions a parent can make to their children's well being.

Also a career gap of just a couple of years has a life long impact on promotion prospects and the amount someone can earn or save for their pensions. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot! ;)

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