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Stapleton Gardner & Company
Solicitors

Family Law - Finances

The law that is relied on to assist in dealing with family finances is referred to as financial relief (previously ancillary relief). The court has a wide discretion in dealing with financial matters and is able to make orders in relation to pensions, lump sum payments, transfers of property, orders for sale and periodical payments.

There is a duty to provide full and frank disclosure of all assets and income and this should be updated throughout the process. You must identify what assets are then considered to be matrimonial and what if any are not. The starting point is to consider whether there should be an equal division of the available matrimonial assets and if not who, if appropriate, should receive a greater share. Some considerations are:

  • Assets acquired through the joint efforts of the couple tend to be divided equally.
  • Court considers reasonable needs of each party.
  • Assets normally excluded from division can be included in order to meet needs.
  • Standard of living during the marriage will be considered as well as the source of the assets.
  • Court is entitled to give weight to periods of cohabitation immediately before the marriage.