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90 seconds on… Dividing assets

Deciding to divorce? How well do you know your family finances? We look at how dividing assets is central to any divorce settlement.

Man and woman with pie chart dividing assets in a divorce.

Deciding to divorce will lead to important consideration of the family finances. We look at how dividing assets is central to any divorce settlement.

We’ve decided to divorce. What will happen to our family home?

The family home will be central to most divorce settlements. Before any negotiations begin it is important to exchange full financial details so that you have a clear picture of all the assets. Although the starting point for dividing the family home is 50/50, the outcome will depend on your respective housing needs, with priority given to the needs of any minor children, your income positions and ability to raise a mortgage.  The family home can be sold immediately, and proceeds divided or transferred into one spouse’s name in return for a lump sum payment; or the sale can be postponed to a date in the future, such as when your youngest child turns 18.

Will I have to sell my business?

It is rare for the court to order a sale of a business, given that it may remove the family’s main income stream. In most cases, the business will be retained by the spouse involved in the business and the other spouse will be compensated with a larger share of the other assets or maintenance.  Early legal advice is important, so you have time to explore all your options, obtain an accurate valuation of the business and factor in any tax considerations.

Will I have to share my pension?

This will depend on the value of the pensions and other assets. One option is for an agreed percentage of one spouse’s funds to be transferred to the other spouse’s pension fund via a pension sharing order or, alternatively, that the spouse with the greater pension fund keeps their pension intact with the other spouse receiving a greater share of the other assets.  Pensions are a complex area and so expert advice and guidance from a family lawyer, together with a pension actuary, is recommended to ensure the best outcome.

This article was written by Dimple Patel

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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