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Who's the breadwinner and does it matter in family cases?

Who’s the breadwinner and does it matter in family cases?

Who’s the breadwinner?

When a married couple or those in a civil partnership are separating after a relationship breakdown, one of the key aspects each party thinks about early on is how are they going to manage their individual finances on their own and whether they are going to need on going support (either short or long term) from their ex-partner.

The term ‘Breadwinner’ is often mentioned in such circumstances although in modern day society it now has quite a different meaning. In days gone by the ‘breadwinner’ in a relationship was usually the man as it was assumed that whilst he went out to work, the woman would keep house and raise the children. However, it is now 2024. Gender roles have changed, same sex marriages are now possible and realistically either party could be seen as the breadwinner in the relationship.

Regardless of whether or not there is a clear ‘Breadwinner’ in the relationship, if the marriage or civil partnership has broken down the starting point is equal division of the finances and assets. It is possible to move away from equal division but the party wanting more must make the case they have a genuine need for more. A Court will look at the future income and earning capacity as well as the needs of each party going forward.

Ideally both parties will be able to negotiate and agree mutually acceptable terms of settlement without the need for a judge to preside over the case. The agreed terms can be recorded in some way; either by a Separation Agreement if formal divorce/dissolution proceedings have yet to begin, or by a Financial Remedy Order if proceedings have started.

As part of the settlement terms, the parties may be able to agree some on-going financial support from one to the other (known as spousal maintenance) with the terms including how much is to be paid and how long for. The Court likes to see parties reach a full clean break at the earliest opportunity with both parties paying their own way to independence. Therefore, any ongoing financial support from one party to the other is likely to need to have a clear end date.

For anyone experiencing a relationship breakdown, getting legal advice from the outset can be of benefit both financially and emotionally. Speak to our experienced family law solicitors today at Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich at [email protected] or telephone 01473 213311, Kerseys Solicitors in Felixstowe at [email protected]  on 01394 834557 or Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester at [email protected] on 01206 584584.

Kerseys Solicitors are just a click away visit our website and click “Call Me Back” and a member of our family law team will be happy to contact you at a time that is convenient to you.

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