Warning: Divorce does not end Financial Claims

Many people think that once they have got through the divorce process and are clutching their Decree Absolute, that this is the end of the matter.  Few realise that spouses can each still make financial claims against the other if they have not obtained a clean break financial order from the court.

There are different ways of resolving financial claims;

  • Directly with your spouse
  • Via mediation
  • Using alternative dispute resolution, such as collaborative law or arbitration
  • Via solicitors
  • By issuing financial remedy proceedings with the court.

If you manage to agree a financial settlement without financial proceedings being issued, then to ensure this is legally binding it is essential that you get the agreement incorporated into a Court Order (often referred to as a Consent Order if entered into by agreement).  If the agreement is intended to be in full and final settlement of all financial claims arising from the marriage then it is also essential that the Consent Order records this and dismisses all future financial claims, whether these be relating to lump sums, maintenance, property or pensions.

The only other way of bringing an end to financial claims after divorce is remarriage, as there is no time limit of when a financial claim can be issued.  It is not uncommon for people to bring financial claims years after they have separated and/or divorced.  However, this may prejudice your claim as the court will consider the circumstances and the needs of the parties as they stand at the time the matter comes before the court and not as they were at the time the parties separated.

Even remarriage will not always stop a financial claim.  For example, if you were the Petitioner in the divorce and you included a financial claim in your divorce petition then the fact you have remarried will not automatically prevent you from making a financial claim against your former spouse.

Resolution of financial matters is a complex area, therefore if you are looking to issue your own divorce it is still always worthwhile to seek advice from a family lawyer to ensure you are protected. Even if you do not currently have any assets it is recommended that you seek advice to ensure that you are taking steps to protect assets which you may acquire in the future.

We have produced a factsheet “Financial Provision on Divorce” which explains the distribution of income and assets when a marriage breaks down, to request a free copy please contact our Family Team.

KBL’s specialist family team are well equipped to deal with complex financial issues, including resolving finances post-separation.  In many cases where matters are agreed, we are able to offer fixed fees to deal with the divorce and obtain a Financial Consent Order.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange an initial consultation please contact our family team: Amera Karim Nazib on Bolton 01204 527777 or Blackburn 01254 268790 or email  anazib@kbl.co.uk 

We will listen, advise, and remain by your side until you have reached a final settlement, ready to rebuild your life.