This includes whether it could be reasonably expected for either husband/wife or civil partner to take steps which would increase their earnings, for example through employment, Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of them has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, Standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage or partnership, Age of each party and duration of the marriage or partnership, including any pre-marriage or partnership cohabitation, Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties, Contributions which each of them has made or is likely to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home, or caring for the family, Conduct of each of the parties, whether it occurred during the relationship or after separation, Value to each of any benefit which either party would lose entitlement to – for example, a pension, Offsetting – pension assets of the parties are either wholly or partly compensated through the value of other assets or a lump sum payment, Attachment/Earmarking Orders – schemes pay a portion of one partner’s pension to the other on their retirement, Pension Sharing – a percentage of one partner’s pension is transferred to a new pension for the benefit of the former husband/wife or civil partner. Help through marriage breakdown, separation and divorce. The divorce or dissolution process starts when you lodge the petition and pay the fee. Call 0800 587 0912Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk, Call 0800 587 2750 Email customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk, Call 0800 587 0912 Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk, Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office. Whilst legally marriage and civil partnerships have binding legal consequences, people can view the two different types of union in a very different way.