Matrimonial Property (in divorce proceedings
Matrimonial Property is any property or assets owned or obtained before or during the marriage. It doesn’t matter whose name the property is in. Matrimonial Property can include (but is not limited to) the following:
- Your family home (“former matrimonial home”) if you and / or your spouse own it
- Other property you and your spouse own and use as a family
- Cars or other vehicles
- Saving and investments
- Stocks, Bonds, policies
Any matrimonial property (owned jointly or in the sole name of one of the parties) will be valued or appraised for the purpose of Financial Remedy Proceedings.
Your solicitor will not be able to advise you as to an appropriate financial settlement until full financial disclosure of all assets have been disclosed. Once this information has been received your instructing solicitor will know exactly what is in the matrimonial pot.
There are a number of factors which need to be taken into account when considering the overall financial settlement, these include something called the Section 25 Factors (Matrimonial Cases Act 1973), namely:
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources that the parties have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future.
- The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that the parties have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future.
- The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage.
- The age of the parties to the marriage and the duration of the marriage.
- Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage.
- The contributions which each party has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family.
- The conduct of each of the parties but only in exceptional circumstances where it would be inequitable to disregard it.
Finally, matrimonial property can include matrimonial debt. This can also include debt that was acquired by both or either spouse during the marriage that was used for ordinary family matters such as household expenses, the mortgage on the former matrimonial home or debt used to finance a family car. If some debts were acquired after separation they may be considered matrimonial debts if they were used to pay necessary living expenses or to maintain the house or car or other assets.