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When parties divorce, the court considers a whole host of factors when determining which order the court should make in relation to division of family assets. These factors include, but are not limited to, the length of the relationship, the age or the parties, their occupation, their earning capacity, etc. The court may also consider a party’s conduct if it deems it inequitable to disregard such behaviour.
It is pivotal to recognise that the court’s foremost objective is to ensure equitable fulfilment of both parties’ financial needs. Consequently, conduct is only weighed in ‘very exceptional circumstances’ where it is ‘obvious and gross’ and it would be ‘inequitable to disregard’ such conduct. This principle holds true for situations of gross and obvious personal misconduct, reckless dissipation of assets, litigation misconduct, and non-disclosure.
The following cases illustrate instances where conduct played a role in the court’s decision-making process
While conduct may occasionally influence asset distribution on divorce/dissolution, its significance remains confined to rare circumstances where it would be unjust to disregard its impact.
For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.Back to Law Articles