At Myerson, we understand that a lot of marriages break down because of fault on both sides.
It can be quite common that one party may feel a huge sense of guilt if they have left their spouse or civil partner.
The marriage may have broken down due to:
Many people do not pursue their financial claims following a marriage breakdown because they feel ashamed or guilty about their behaviour. Others do not resolve financial matters due to the volatility in temper of the party who has been left behind. They believe that, in time, the spouse who they have left behind will “forgive” them and that it may be easier to resolve matters financially further down the line. Unfortunately, this can often turn out to be a false assumption. Continuing to pay household bills and maintenance can lead to a precedent being fixed that this level of financial support will continue into the long term.
People often assume that there will be a financial impact if one party has had an affair or left the marriage but, this will not likely make any difference to the overall division of assets.
The family court is not concerned about why the marriage ended. The court’s aim is to distribute the available assets fairly between the parties.
The starting point for the court is the checklist set out in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1975, otherwise known as the section 25 factors which are:
It can be tempting for parties to want to list the details of each other’s bad behaviour, but it is rarely the case that conduct will be relevant in financial order proceedings. Although conduct is one of the section 25 factors, it will only be considered in very exceptional circumstances.
In the case of OG v AG, Mr Justice Mostyn said ‘times have changed, the financial remedy court is no longer a court of morals. Conduct should be taken into account not only where it is inequitable to disregard but only where its impact is financially measurable. It is unprincipled for the court to stick a finger in the air and arbitrarily to fine a party for what it regards as immoral conduct.’
If you have divorced but not sorted out the financial arrangements, then it is still possible to make a claim, provided that you have not remarried.
There is no time limit for making a claim. If you are concerned that you have walked away from your marriage or civil partnership without a fair financial settlement, then please get in touch with a member of our Family team on 0161 941 4000 or email the Myerson Family Law Team.