Matters Affecting Settlement

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Frequently Asked Questions about Matters Affecting Settlement

We have a lot of debts. How will these be dealt with?

The Courts cannot make an Order paying third party debts but can take payment of debts into account in dividing assets.

It may be relevant in whose name the debts are in but the purpose for the debts are also important.   For instance, if the debts were incurred for a joint benefit then debts are likely to be regarded as a joint responsibility but if the debts were incurred for one person to buy a car and only they drove around in it then they may be considered that person’s responsibility.

I am disabled, could that affect the financial settlement?

The disability could be taken into account as it may affect your earning capacity or income and housing needs. It would depend upon the degree and type of disability and would be dependant upon other factors.

Would my husband/wife’s behaviour affect a financial settlement?

Generally behaviour is disregarded unless it is serious. In practice Courts are fairly hostile to the raising of conduct as a factor in any financial settlement and the attempt to do so can be both expensive and delay matters since there needs to be a hearing relating to conduct.

Would the length of marriage affect the settlement?

A short marriage is a factor that would be taken into account when the courts consider a settlement, in part due to the fact that there is less time for a partner to build up contributions to the marriage. The affect of a short marriage on a settlement would depend on other factors though such as whether you had children together or whether you were living together before the marriage.

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