Financial Provision

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What is an application for a financial order?

You can apply for a financial order if you are getting divorced and you cannot agree about finances, such as how a property should be divided, whether it should be sold or spouse maintenance payments.

What is the courts procedure?

The court will list a hearing called a “First Appointment”, once we have submitted your application to the court. Before the hearing, we must exchange financial information with the other party using a detailed court form. The court will want to know about your pensions, your savings, interests in any businesses, in order to form an accurate view of each party’s finances. We will guide you as the process goes on, about the information we require and the documentation you need to provide.

We will negotiate with the other side to try and reach an agreement if possible, to save your legal costs. If you agree on a settlement, we can ask the court to make this legally binding.

The court will fix the date of the next hearing if no settlement has been reached. The court may request either party to provide further information or missing documents by a certain date. We may need to obtain valuations for your assets or obtain expert evidence, regarding tax implications for example.

We will continue with further court hearings until the court has enough information to impose a final decision. Most people agree to settle before the final hearing stage, with the assistance of their lawyers.

Who pays the legal costs?

The general rule is that each person pays their own legal costs. It is not likely that you will get your fees paid by the other party, but you will walk away with a financial settlement. Financial proceedings can be costly but will be explained to you in full at each stage of the process.

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What types of orders can the court make?

  • Lump sum, property adjustment, pension sharing

Whether you own your home jointly or if the property is in your spouse’s sole name, you will be entitled to receive your share of the matrimonial assets and income as part of the divorce process.

We can assist with an application for either of the above if your spouse has any savings, investments or valuable possessions- including any pension funds.

  • Spouse maintenance

We can assist with obtaining maintenance payments to financially support yourself and or your children, if your spouse is receiving an income from employment or rental income.

  • Financial provision after overseas divorce

If your spouse has obtained a foreign divorce, there are any immediate steps you need to take to protect your financial position. This will apply if you want to make a claim on your spouses’ property or apply for maintenance.

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What will the court consider in making its decision?

There are a number of factors the court will consider in making a decision about how matrimonial assets and income should be shared:

  • the court’s first consideration is the welfare of any children involved
  • each person’s income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources, available now or in the foreseeable future
  • each person’s financial needs, obligations and responsibilities relevant now or in the foreseeable future
  • the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
  • each person’s age and the length of the marriage
  • any physical or mental disability
  • contributions made, or likely to be made in the foreseeable future, to the welfare of the family, including any non-economic contribution
  • the conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it
  • the value of each of the parties to the marriage or civil partnership of any benefit which that party will lose the chance of acquiring

The default position for the court is a 50/50 split. If one person is caring for the children, they may require a larger share to accommodate housing needs, or the outcome may differ if one person entered the marriage with significantly greater assets than the other.

Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements can have also affect the court’s decision.

Get in touch with our expert Financial Provision Solicitors today.