Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-How old are you both?-How long have you been married?
-How long have you been separated?-Do you have any children together, if so their ages and proposed arrangements?-What are the values of all assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?-What are your respective incomes?
Thanks for confirming. Firstly, as you have only recently separated the only fact that either of you can rely on to pursue a divorce is unreasonable behaviour and the petitioner will need to state certain issues of unreasonable behaviour that they consider led to an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The listing of such issues may lead to acrimony between you, but you should be aware that unless the petitioner states financial misconduct, then the reasons for the divorce will not impact a financial settlement. Furthermore defending a divorce will unlikely stop a divorce if the petitioner feels the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
In relation to the finances, given that you have only been married since 2009, it may be the case that a court agrees that the marriage is a short one, and if so, you will both be able to "ring-fence" assets that were obtained prior to the marriage. This will require detailed assessment as it may be in your interest to limit any negotiations to "matrimonial assets". It is not clear what assets were acquired prior to the marriage, but this may be significant given the amount of assets you have listed.
You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. The criteria considered is:1. 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 in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;6. The contributions which each of the parties 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;7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, 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.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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