Contributions of the parties
Contributions of the parties

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Contributions of the parties
  • General principles
  • Practical considerations

In financial order proceedings, the court must have regard to a range of factors that are set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973), or Schedule 5, Part 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004) at para 21(2). One of these factors is the contributions that each of the parties has made to the welfare of the family, ie:

'…the contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family.'

These will include:

  1. direct financial contributions, for example capital brought to the marriage or civil partnership or generated during it, assets received by inheritance and income

  2. indirect financial contributions, for example where one party’s entitlement to a right-to-buy discount enabled the parties to own rather than rent a property

  3. non-financial contributions, for example taking care of the family home and raising children

Contributions must now be approached in light of White v White and Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane, which made fairness central to the process. There should be no discrimination between the breadwinner and the homemaker when making a final order. The court will generally be

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