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  • Writer's pictureFernanda Stefani

Navigating Financial Orders in a Divorce: A Guide

We can help you with your financial division of assets both if you are already divorced or commencing the process now.


Do you and your ex agree on how to settle your finances? We can a draft a legally binding agreement for you. If you are unable to agree, we can advise and represent you in negotiations and a financial settlement. We are also able to represent you in court proceedings. We can assist you to discover hidden assets, ensuring nothing is missed and ensuring that assets owned abroad are included in the pot of assets.


If you are in a civil partnership or a marriage, you may apply for a Financial Order to be made by the courts if your relationship breaks down. 

 

The English courts have power under ss22 to 24B of the MCA 1973 to make financial orders to a spouse for:

 

-       Income orders

-       Capital orders

 

Income orders are for the provision by one spouse to the other for maintenance pending suit, periodical payments or secured periodical payments. Payments can also be made to the child(ren) of the family.

 

The court can order for one party to pay the other party maintenance whilst the proceedings for divorce are ongoing. As an interim measure, maintenance is paid at a lower rate than it might be in the long term. Interim maintenance is intended to cover the basic costs, excluding long-term and capital expenses.

 

Child Maintenance

 

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will usually be responsible for child maintenance applications as opposed to the courts. The paying parent might be responsible for maintenance beyond the child reaching the age of 18 in certain circumstances.

 

You can find an online calculator at www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance that will help you to calculate the minimum sum of maintenance that should be paid. Where a parent lives abroad, the application might need to be made or enforced via REMO or the courts and you should contact a solicitor to discuss this.

 

 

The Court may  make orders in respect of children in the following additional circumstances:

(a) where the child(ren) suffer(s) from a disability;

(b) where the child(ren) are in full-time education or training;

(c) where the paying parent has been assessed to pay the maximum sum by the CMS, the court has the jurisdiction to make a ‘top up’ order;

(d) where either parent or the child resides overseas.

 

 

Capital orders are flexible and cover lump sum orders, property adjustment orders (for property to be held on trust or to be transferred for example), orders for sale of property, pension sharing orders or pension sharing compensation orders.

 

A spouse may apply for any or all of these orders on or after filing the divorce petition. We can you advise on your entitlement to each of these financial remedies and the chances of success in making such an application.

 

 

Recovering Costs

 

In family finance proceedings, it is common for each party to bear their own legal costs and it is rare that the courts will make costs orders. This rule may be departed from if one of the parties does something sufficiently serious to justify a costs order being made against them.

 

Costs may be sought successfully from your ex-spouse if you can establish one or more of the following:-

 

-       Failure to comply with the Family Procedure Rules, relevant practice direction or Order of the Court;

 

-       Any open offers to settle made;

 

-       Whether it was reasonable to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue;

 

-       The manner in which a party has pursued or responded to the application or allegation/issue.

 

-       Any other aspect of a party’s conduct the Court consider relevant;

 

-       The financial effect on the parties of any costs Order.

 

The Judge has ultimate discretion in whether to make a Costs Order against the opponent. 

 

Do you need assistance with division of your matrimonial assets? At any opportunity where costs may be awarded, we will advise accordingly and pursue costs to their fullest extent. If you are looking for help to obtain a financial order or to respond to an application for financial order, please get in touch with Fernanda Stefani Araujo or Paul Wilson on hello@stefanisolicitors.com

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