Co habitation after separation doesn’t affect your settlement

Co habitation after separation doesn’t affect your settlementCo habitation after separation doesn’t affect your settlement. Those who move in with a new partner after separation are still entitled to the same share of the family wealth as those who don’t. That’s the upshot of the thinking of Sir James Mumby, president of the Family Division at the High Court according to this article in the Telegraph. The confirmation of this concept is a pretty big deal and one that will impact a great many people. 

Whenever any couple divorce, there are essentially three things that have to happen. The first is to go through the legal procedure of dissolving the marital contract and making themselves single again. Secondly, they will need to developing a workable co-parenting plan going forward if they have children, and finally they need to divide their assets between themselves in a way that, hopefully, they both feel is fair. Of course this last task is one that some couples end up blowing their life’s savings on in a bitter legal battle trying to win – that is, winning the war of getting a higher percentage of the split only to find that there is nothing left to divide.

In mediation one of the most common arguments we encounter when working on what is a fair share of the asset pot, is the strong emotional belief that because one of the parties is already living with another person, both of those incomes should be taken into consideration in deciding who needs (and therefore who should get), what. Well, today’s confirmation in the High Court now makes it clear that unless you remarry, the wealth of your ex’s new partner doesn’t come into play in any way at all. This is because that relationship may end as well, and if a divorcing partner does not receive their entitled share of the family asset pot, then should this new relationship end, then at that point they will be financially disadvantaged. Importantly, this applies to both men and women who move in with a new person after separating.

If you are in the process of trying to fairly divide your assets following separation New Landscape Mediation can help. Whether from our main offices near Stansted airport in Essex or our central London location conveniently located within the law offices of Stafford Young Jones near Monument station, we can help. Contact us on 01279 211657 for a fully confidential discussion of your needs.


Johnathan Pease
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