The financial myths surrounding divorce

Rosie Vare

Relationships can be rocky and if things don't work out there is a long and bumpy road leading to divorce.

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See also: This divorce coach advises couples on 'happy splits'

In this video, we debunk five financial myths that affect those ending their marriage including divorce settlements, maintenance payments and prenuptial agreements.

Myth 1: You'll be entitled to half your spouse's assets

The divorce settlement is based on a whole host of factors including the length of the marriage, the partners ages, future earning capacity and financial and non-financial contributions during marriage. None of the factors rank higher than the other and the final decision is at the discretion of the judge.

Myth 2: You'll get maintenance for life

If the court decides your ex-spouse must pay maintenance the payment is always variable. For example, if you receive spousal maintenance and then get a better paid job, your ex can take the case back to court to get the payments reduced and if your ex's income increases in the future and you have not had a clean break then you could go back to court for a second try. Be aware, each time you go back to court to vary the payment the court will look to end the case and reach a final settlement

Myth 3: A pre-nup is guaranteed protection

A prenuptial agreement is not legally binding although the judge may take it into account provided certain criteria is met. This requires evidence showing a full disclosure of assets was made prior to the agreement and it must have been signed at least 21 days before the wedding takes place.

Myth 4: You get to keep your pension

The court has the power to order pensions to be shared, you may think the money is for you in your old age but as the pot has been built up during the marriage it's actually considered an asset.

Myth 5: "I'll see you in court!"

Remember, you don't have to take the matter to court, collaborative law can be used to resolve disputes. You and your ex sit in a room with your solicitors and hash it out between you and once an agreement is made the judge signs it off. It can be cheaper than a court hearing.