The recent case of Morris to hit the news highlights that the needs of the parties and any independent children will often be the overriding factor for the court when deciding how the matrimonial pot is to be divided.

Comment was made that the size of the pot, which was in any event insufficient to meet all of the parties’ needs, meant that expectations had to be scaled down and this required the court to prioritise the parties’ needs

In this case the wife has been awarded the bulk of the parties’ capital (90%) in order to meet what the court had assessed to her needs. The wife’s needs being seen as greater as she had given up her career to be the primary carer to the parties’ children. This is turn reduced her earning capacity and increased her capital and income needs.

It showcases also the factors that the court will apply and that the contribution of one party will often not outweigh the other.

Whilst the husband was left with a smaller capital fund account was taken of the higher earning capacity and larger pension pot that he had available to him and the greater ability to use earning capacity to rebuild capital.

The parties are reported to have spent significant amount on legal costs further reducing an already depleted fund. It is important to get advice on the factors that the court must apply and balance in order to achieve a fair outcome. This in turn provide you with realistic idea as to what you can hope to achieve. For further information on our fixed fee consultation please contact us on 020 3440 8000 or email us at

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