Factors considered by a court in a separation/divorce/dissolution


In granting a decree of judicial separation, divorce or dissolution, a court has the power to make a wide variety of ancillary orders. The most usual court orders relate to the following:

There is no standard or usual amount of maintenance payable just as there is no standard set of circumstances in which a court will make a particular order in relation to the family or shared home. When considering what orders to make in each particular case, a court will consider all of the circumstances of the family/civil partners and will look in particular at the following:

  • The current and likely future income, earning capacity and assets of each party
  • The current and future financial needs and obligations of each party
  • The standard of living of the family before the break-up of the marriage/civil partnership – the court will take this into account, but in reality it will accept that, in many cases, separation will result in a drop in the standard of living of both parties
  • The age of each party, the duration of the marriage/civil partnership and the length of time the spouses/civil partners lived together
  • The accommodation needs of each party
  • The input each spouse/civil partner has made and is likely to make to the welfare of the family – this includes any contribution made that increased the income and financial resources of the other party
  • The degree to which the marriage/civil partnership affected each party's ability to earn
  • The conduct of each party
  • The value of any benefits given up by a party because of the judicial separation, divorce or dissolution
  • The rights of any other person affected by the judicial separation, divorce or dissolution

Page edited: 9 February 2016