Dividing Assets in Divorce | Shortlands Family Law Firm - Hammersmith
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Dividing Assets in Divorce

Despite the increase in couples opting to live together rather than marry the law governing couples rights upon the breakdown of their relationship simply has not caught up with the times. It is complex and offers less protection to the “poorer” partner.

In terms of property the name on the title deeds determines the owner. The other party can make a claim but will need to provide documentary evidence of contribution to the property.

Complicated trust law can also apply in these cases but again evidence of contribution or reliance is essential.

The concept of claiming maintenance upon separation from your partner does not exist and a lump sum payment can only be claimed on behalf of any children. Pension claims cannot be made.

Property and money can be sought for children during their minority but any property provided has to revert to the paying partner, upon child reaching 18 or leaving full time education.

The law is complex so we would advise you to seek advice about your rights at the earliest opportunity.

For more extensive advice and information please email or call us to book a free initial consultation.


I have found Shortlands an extremely professional and understanding firm. My solicitor Sian Whittaker has always explained proceedings in a manner that is easy to understand and the knowledge and advice given has always been supportive and invaluable.I feel that my work is being handled very professionally and they are very prompt with their replies to my questions. I would not therefore hesitate in recommending them.
Lee Kimberley
Dear Shortlands, A very big thank you for all your help regarding my case, brilliant service provided and I will be recommending your good name to all who seek legal representation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to be married before I can start a divorce?

You have to be married for at least one year before divorce can be commenced.

Do I have to divorce in the country where the marriage took place?

No. You are able to divorce in the UK as long as you or your spouse have been resident here for at least one year before starting your case, or you and your spouse are domiciled in the UK.

If my spouse and I have been separated for two years, are we automatically divorced?

No.The same procedure has to be followed before divorce is finalized. See Our Flowchart

What paperwork do I need to start a divorce?

  • A divorce petition.
  • Original Marriage Certificate, with translation if appropriate.
  • A fee.

How long does it take to divorce?

An ‘agreed divorce’ takes about 5-6 months to finalize.

What happens if I cannot find my spouse?

You are still able to divorce by showing the court that you have made attempts to locate them. The facts of 2 years’ separation with consent or adultery should not be relied upon in this instance.


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