Bad behaviour won’t necessarily affect a financial settlement on divorce

8th March 2015 by


As family lawyers in Brighton and London, the team at Healys get asked many questions relating to how a financial claim will be settled by the court. One of the most common queries is “Will my ex-spouse’s bad behaviour be taken into consideration by the judge?”

While family courts will consider all the circumstances relevant to the divorce, generally, bad behaviour – in whatever way it is perceived by the other spouse – will not be taken into account when the financial settlement on divorce is finalised.

The foremost priority for a family court in any divorce application is to ensure fairness and the welfare of any children. In terms of the financial claim, the court will seek to ensure that the less able or well-off party is not disadvantaged as a result of the split and the settlement will reflect this.

So, no matter how destructive or shocking one spouse’s behaviour – adultery, alcoholism or abandonment for example – was perceived by the other to have been, it, in itself, will not affect how the judge decides the couple’s marital property should be divided.

Violence and fraud may have a bearing on divorce settlements

The only exceptions to this rule are where one spouse’s violent behaviour has had lasting effect on the other, or the couple’s children, or where a former partner deliberately attempts to defraud the court or sabotage the marital finances.

During a divorce financial settlement both spouses must make full and frank disclosure of their finances. If one spouse is found to have not fully disclosed wealth or assets, or has deliberately attempted to dispose of assets irregularly, then the court may take this into account. Furthermore, attempting to defraud a court is a criminal offence and the matter will be taken very seriously ‐ severe penalties can be imposed.

Of course, for many couples the whole process of splitting up becomes acrimonious and full of dispute. When this occurs, sadly, no matter what the outcome of the financial claim is, one or both spouses are likely to feel aggrieved.

Healys’ divorce solicitors in Brighton and London can help

Healys is experienced in successfully making and defending divorce and finance claims on behalf of both husbands and wives and, where possible, will conduct divorce negotiations using the amicable, constructive and conciliatory ethos of Resolution.

Our many years’ experience has taught us that each client’s situation is different. Healys can help by listening sensitively and giving you straightforward legal advice so you can weigh up what options will work best for you.

When things are amicable we can help you keep it that way, and when things are tough we can help fight your corner.

If you wish to speak to a solicitor in Brighton about your financial settlement on divorce please call 01273 685 888 or email an enquiry to

Alternatively the family law team in London can be reached on 020 7822 4000.

We look forward to helping you.