How many times have you heard that?
The common male perception is that, on divorce, the husband is treated harshly and lands up with virtually nothing.
What the husband receives depends on various matter including:
1: Whether the finances can be settled by agreement, rather than at court.
2: Assets/wealth accumulated during the marriage.
3: Length of the marriage.
4: Whether there are any children under 18
5: Who the children live with.
6: The Wife’s’ earnings/income/capacity?
6: The financial ‘needs’ of both.
If the wife is the wealthier, the husband is the more vulnerable, and on a long marriage he may ‘need’ some of her assets and perhaps maintenance.
‘Need’ is important. If there is plenty to go around, each can go their own way and a ‘clean break’ can be achieved. If there isn’t a lot, then it can appear that the wife is getting ‘everything’. She is still usually the one who has to house the children. In reality, therefore, it is because the children need looking after that it may appear that the wife has received so much.
Matrimonial Law isn’t sexist/biased. It is simply that men are still, despite changes and more equality, the ones who, in general, have the higher paid jobs and have acquired the assets.
Societal expectations/drive/gender/opportunities may be some of the reasons why men are still the higher earners. This is a subject for another day and another article!
Back to marriage/children/divorce! I have mentioned the modest means scenario and if the only sensible option is for the wife and children to live in the house, there are possible compensations for the husband: he can receive his share of the equity later, ( on the wife’s remarriage or once the children are 18) or she can keep the house and he can keep his pension. In a wealthy scenario, the current trend is a 50/50 split, but only in a long marriage, with children, the thinking being that the husband has been able to promote/concentrate on his career, being freed up to do so, while the wife was bringing up the children. in such a split whilst the husband may feel aggrieved initially, he can strive for the clean break, so that he can immediately rebuild.
The above is a tiny overview of a fascinating area for the academic, me, but scary for the person going through it, you?
If you wish to learn more contact Karen Fleming at Fleming & Co, 01903 446698 or visit our website flemingandco.co.uk