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Divorce settlement calculator How to calculate your financial settlement on divorce or civil partnership dissolution in England and Wales

Divorce settlement calculator: issues to consider

Two of the biggest challenges for people going through divorce or civil partnership dissolution are:

  1. How to calculate a fair divorce settlement. This includes dealing with properties, pensions, savings and investments, debts, businesses, household contents and personal belongings, together with income claims (maintenance).
  2. Understanding why they may need a financial court order (in addition to a divorce/dissolution final order ending the relationship), especially in a situation where they have agreed settlement terms with their spouse/civil partner.

This is not straightforward. There are no exact answers as the law provides for a wide discretion to reach a fair and reasonable financial settlement, and provides guidelines, principles and precedents. Discussing with a solicitor is very important.

Below are a series of questions which will help you to evaluate your financial situation and guide your next step in calculating a financial settlement.



Frequently asked questions on divorce settlement calculations

  • What is a financial settlement?

    A financial settlement is the deal you make with your former spouse or partner to divide your money and financial resources when your marriage or civil partnership ends. You can make this deal at any time during your divorce or civil partnership dissolution, but it needs to be recorded in a binding court order which can only be made by the court once the conditional order stage of the divorce/dissolution process has passed.

  • How are divorce or dissolution settlements calculated?

    There needs to be consideration of both parties' current and future earnings when calculating a financial settlement, as well as all other financial resources. This includes assets such as property, savings and pensions.

    If you have dependent children, this will also be factored into the financial settlement calculations.

  • What is a typical divorce or dissolution settlement?

    A settlement needs to be fair and reasonable for that particular family. A starting consideration is whether a 50/50 split of assets is fair, regardless of whether one party stayed at home and the other worked. The court has ultimate authority over all financial settlements and an equal division may not be an appropriate outcome for many cases.

    If you have a prenuptial agreement, the court will give weight to this.

  • Is my spouse or partner entitled to half of my pension?

    Pensions are assets that are considered as part of a financial settlement. Pensions are often overlooked during divorce settlement calculations but can be a very valuable resource. Expert advice is needed to consider how best to factor pensions into a fair settlement.

  • Is my spouse or partner entitled to half of my savings?

    Savings will form part of the assets that are considered during the divorce or dissolution settlement process. How they are divided can differ depending on what is fair for the family concerned and it is vital that you take expert advice.

  • What is a clean break divorce or dissolution?

    A clean break is when both parties seek to cut financial ties with each other when they divorce. If you have a clean break you don't have to pay any ongoing maintenance to support your ex-partner. It is important that you get a financial court order to approve your financial settlement.

  • What is a lump sum divorce or dissolution settlement?

    Under a lump sum settlement, you are required to pay a lump sum of money to your former spouse or partner. This money could be for the benefit of your ex-partner or your child.

  • Do I need a solicitor for a financial settlement?

    It is important that you seek expert advice when negotiating a financial settlement as it is important to ensure that all financial assets and resources have been considered as part of your settlement calculations. Equally, if your agreement is not correctly recorded in a binding court order, you will not be able to enforce its terms if your former spouse defaults on the deal. Finally, if you don’t get a binding court order, your former spouse or partner may maintain a claim to your assets in future.