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International Women’s Day and Divorce

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Women’s Rights on Divorce

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day and exactly 100 years since women received the right to vote. Women’s rights have evolved and changed throughout the years and this also includes within financial matters that stem from divorce.

Matrimonial law has changed considerably throughout the years as previously it was considered to be very outdated as they tended to protect divorcing husbands who traditionally were the main breadwinners in a marriage as wives stayed at home to look after the family and run the household.

Before the landmark legal case of White v White [2000], the financially weaker party (usually the wife) suffered under archaic law within a divorce because the court’s approach, when dividing the assets of the marriage, was to only provide the wife with what would meet her reasonable needs and nothing further. This meant that the wealthier party (usually the husband) was able to retain a lot of the money he earned and built up during the course of the marriage, including his pension pot.

Since White v White the law has changed and now the court considers numerous factors before deciding what is fair and reasonable for both parties to receive within a divorce. These factors are called the “Section 25” factors and include the following:-

  • The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
  • The standard of living enjoyed by the family enjoyed before the breakdown of the marriage.
  • The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage.
  • Any physical or mental disability of either party to the marriage.
  • The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely to make in the foreseeable future.
  • The conduct of each of the parties


Another change that we have seen over the years is the assumption that husbands are the main breadwinners in marriages. This is not always the case and the female breadwinner is becoming more and more common as women have become more career driven over the years and perhaps decide to have children at a later age in order to pursue their careers.

If you would like advice on divorce and financial related matters then please contact one of our Associate Solicitors, Kirsten Tomlinson on 01625 544 650 or email

We have a large team and can offer family law advice at any of our locations as follows:-

Wilmslow        01625 544650

Knutsford       01565 648228

London           0207 9474219

Manchester    0161 8048441



For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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