Equal division of assets gives wives financial security
A study that was published by the Royal Economic Society has shown that some working women in Bedfordshire and across England are choosing to spend more time at home with their children and concentrating less on their careers. An economist from Turin University has suggested that this trend is a result of women feeling more financially secure about their future since a landmark ruling in the divorce case of White vs White in 2000.
The House of Lords ruled that the couple’s assets should be divided equally, and it set a precedent for family court judges in the years since. It was a groundbreaking decision as, before this case, husbands often received a higher proportion of the family wealth when a couple divorced. Courts now view raising children and taking care of the home as being equal to wage earning and have awarded divorce settlements accordingly.
The reduction in working hours is only seen in wealthier and better educated married women according to the study, and the economist who studied the information pointed out that these were the families who were financially secure enough to be able to make that decision. A separate survey showed that more than 30 per cent of working mothers would stop working and spend their time taking care of their children if they were able to afford it and 60 per cent would cut back on their hours.
Since the 2000 House of Lords ruling, family court judges often calculate a divorce settlement by estimating the needs of the parties involved and then dividing the remaining marital property equally. An experienced family law solicitor may be able to discuss with a client the various factors that a judge will consider when making a decision and provide realistic expectations regarding the outcome of a settlement hearing.
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