Transcript for Divorce Advice: Establishing a Clean Break & Spousal Maintenance – Top Divorce Lawyer Marilyn Stowe 

The court has to consider whether or not a clean break is appropriate for the couple.

A clean break comes into play when there is enough money to enable the parties to get on with their lives without ever having coming back to the other for support.

Spousal maintenance is available for people who need income going forward but, in cases of wealthier parties, it’s possible to arrive at a clean break. The way the court does that is assessing how much money there is and then saying: “Is it appropriate to divide the assets by two? Is there enough money to meet need and, thereafter, to divide the assets and walk away? Is that appropriate?”

Increasingly, couples are using the argument that some of the assets are inherited wealth or acquired before the marriage. The courts might say that if needs can be met without recourse to non-matrimonial assets, they should be ring-fenced from division and kept on the spouse whose they were from the outset.

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1 comment

Joe Sherwood - February 3, 2016 at 6:06pm

“The courts might say that if needs can be met without recourse to non-matrimonial assets, they should be ring-fenced from division and kept [by] the spouse whose they were from the outset.”

This seems both obvious — and fair. Why should a spouse who (a) contributed little or nothing to the matrimonial assets, (b) actually earned significantly more than they would have done, had they NOT married (for instance, a foreign-born wife, from a country where the cost of living is much lower), be awarded anything more from their spouse’s non-matrimonial assets than a token amount (and even then)?? Many fail to see the logic.

Even divorced, she is still far better off than she would otherwise have been, had she not married. And some indeed marry with that full knowledge, and plan. Yet those who would abuse the system, and the divorce laws, for their own advancement are ENCOURAGED by the way the law dishes out large sums of money their way. And, even if they lose their dependent visa, all they have to do is to go home and wait for the money they’ve been awarded, to just roll in….

Far fetched? One UK-born male lawyer, practicing in an Asian country, told me, “I deal with HUNDREDS of XXX divorces every year….” — the unfilled blank referring to one particular nearby country where marriage scammers have earned an unfortunate reputation for what can only be termed visa fraud. Of course not all marriages with those nationals are purposeful scams — but even so, the spouses know that, SHOULD the marriage break down, since the partner is inevitably better off, living in a more developed economy, with the way the divorce laws are, they can not emerge any other way than “smelling like a rose”.

Many men — and some women — do not feel that is fair.

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