What Is a Fair Divorce Settlement?


For most people contemplating a Pasadena divorce, the biggest concern they have is how to ensure a fair divorce settlement. Unfortunately, what many people fail to realize is that a fair settlement doesn't necessarily involve an equal 50/50 split of assets. There are several factors a judge will consider when deciding what constitutes a fair settlement for your divorce.

If your marriage was relatively short, involves no children, and both you and your spouse earned similar salaries, an equal 50/50 split would be appropriate. When this is not the case, judges focus on providing an equitable settlement instead of equally dividing the marital assets.

Salary discrepancies can often justify an unequal settlement. For example, a couple married for 15 years where one spouse makes $50,000 and the other earns $75,000 per year might see a 60/40 split favoring the lower earning spouse. The reasoning behind this would be that the lower earning spouse deserves a higher portion of marital assets to offset the decline in living he or she will experience after the divorce.

An alternative solution to dealing with income discrepancies might be to have the higher earning spouse pay temporary spousal support in addition to a 50/50 split of marital assets. This provides additional resources for the lower earning spouse but gains a tax deduction for the spouse who will be paying alimony.

When children are involved, the primary parent is often awarded a slightly larger portion of the marital assets in addition to spousal support, child support, and the marital home. Judges often rule under the assumption that it is best for the children to be able to enjoy the same standard of living they did when their parents were married. However, there is usually the expectation that a stay-at-home parent will resume working when the children are older.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our team of experienced Pasadena divorce attorneys is eager to help you obtain a fair settlement as quickly and painlessly as possible.