What is section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973?
29 January 2024 by Joel Tyson
Those currently going through a divorce may be experiencing difficulty with how to separate their finances. When a marriage or civil partnership breaks down, consideration will need to be given as to a fair way to divide income, assets including savings, property and pensions, as well as liabilities.
Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 outlines various factors that the court must consider when making financial orders in such cases.
It is extremely important to note that the first consideration of the court will be the welfare of any child of the family while they remain under the age of 18.
The other factors include:-
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has, or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including each parties’ earning capacity;
- The financial needs, obligations, responsibilities, and resources of the spouses, both during the marriage and after the marriage has ended;
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
- The age of each spouse, and the duration of the marriage;
- Any physical or mental disabilities of either spouse;
- The contributions made by each spouse to the welfare of the family, including financial and non-financial contributions;
- Conduct, if it is relevant to the financial resources of the marriage, albeit this is rarely considered; and
- The value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
The aim is to produce an outcome which is fair and equitable in all the circumstances, and to ensure that both parties can meet their needs, and hopefully maintain a reasonable standard of living after separation if possible.
No guidance is given in the Act as to what weight the court should give to the various factors, but there is case law which gives a Judge guidance on how the S.25 factors are to be applied.
This is a complex area and specialist legal advice should always be obtained before embarking on any discussions as to how financial matters should be resolved. FJG offer an £150.00 fixed fee interview with one of our family specialists so that you can find out where you stand.
If you or anyone you know would like advice in relation to divorce or matrimonial finances, then please contact our family team on [email protected], or 01206 835300.