Can My Husband Take Half My Savings If We Get Divorced?

Matrimonial assets can be split fairly during divorce proceedings. Dividing assets can be relatively straight forward if the parties can negotiate amicably.

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By Jodie Penketh - 25th July 2022

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Many people don't realise that getting a Divorce in England & Wales doesn't automatically sever the financial ties between you and your spouse. It's important to put a Financial Agreement in place to outline exactly what you both plan to do with the finances following the divorce.

Do I need to disclose my savings?

When considering a financial agreement, both parties tend to undertake voluntary disclosure in an attempt to reach a settlement. All personal savings, including ISA’s and other investments must be disclosed when negotiating. Often, personal savings will have been built up within the marriage. These are classed as a matrimonial assets, even if they are held in your sole name. If the savings were built up prior to the marriage then it could be argued that the savings should be considered as a non-matrimonial asset.

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What is the difference between matrimonial assets and non-matrimonial assets?

Matrimonial assets

By definition, matrimonial assets are any financial assets which you or your spouse acquired during the course of your marriage. That's the time elapsed from the date of your wedding, up until the date of separation.

Non-matrimonial assets

Non-matrimonial assets are any financial assets acquired either before the date of marriage, or after separation.

The argument to keep non-matrimonial is only successful if you can prove that the assets have not mingled during the course of your marriage. There must also be sufficient assets to satisfy the needs of the parties if you were not to consider these. For example, if one spouse is unable to re-house themselves adequately based on the matrimonial assets, then the non-matrimonial assets would need to be taken into account and divided to enable them to secure an appropriate place to live.

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How do we decide how to divide the assets?

Matrimonial assets can be split fairly during divorce proceedings. Dividing assets can be relatively straight forward if the parties can negotiate amicably.

The way in which the Courts look at dividing assets depends on the circumstances, so will have a different approach in each case. The starting point for the majority of cases is a 50/50 split as the Courts desire a fair outcome.

However, fair does not always mean equal. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 sets out a list of factors which the court must take into consideration when dividing the matrimonial pot, these are:

  • Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources
  • Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities
  • Standard of living enjoyed by the parties
  • The age of each party and the duration of the marriage
  • The contributions made by each party
  • The conduct of the parties

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In some circumstances, it's possible that your savings could be excluded from the matrimonial pot. For example, if you were successful with the argument that the savings were built up prior to the marriage, therefore they are to be considered as a non-matrimonial asset. However, it's important to note that if the matter goes to Court then it is the judge’s discretion as to the outcome.

It may be possible to keep your savings in tact if you are prepared to offset these against another asset. For example, your husband could be awarded a bigger share of the matrimonial home in order to allow you to keep your savings.

If you need advice on dealing with your Finances during a Divorce, contact our Family Law Solicitors today.

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