Divorce myth number 6 – the person who has earned all the money in the marriage will be entitled to a greater share of the assets on divorce.

20th June 2013

Laura Lambert of Ansons LLP Solicitors family law team in Cannock, Staffordshire, explains: “This is not the case.”

It is often the case that both parties have contributed equally to the marriage, even where there was a clear breadwinner / home maker.   

The priority of the court is to make sure that both parties financial needs are met taking into account the overreaching principle of fairness having regard to all the circumstances. The starting point is equality. Special contributions to the assets may change this.  For example in a long marriage where one spouse has done all that was expected but the other spouse has the spark of genius which created the considerable wealth there could be a move away from equality in their favour. 

However just because assets are substantial this does not itself give rise to a special contribution and these cases are relatively rare. Only the most exceptional circumstances will give rise to a special contribution and almost all cases will be governed by the overreaching principles of fairness and equality. In most cases the court takes the view that a spouse’s contribution financially by way of earning and income is equivalent to the other’s contribution of looking after the home and children.