Financial remedies are part of the divorce process that deals with the financial side of the proceedings. It is worth looking at how you get a financial remedy order.
Financial remedies refer to a financial settlement following a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership.
Financial remedies were previously referred to as ‘ancillary relief’ because while obtaining the order can run concurrently with the divorce proceedings, it is ancillary to them (i.e. they play a supplementary or supporting role). Whilst this has been updated, the term is often interchangeably used.
Once one party’s divorce solicitor has started the divorce proceedings by submitting the divorce petition, the process of dividing the couple’s finances and other assets will also need to begin.
If the couple are still on reasonably good terms, the parties may be able to come to an agreement between themselves or with the help of a mediator and a consent order agreed. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the courts will have to decide how the assets will be split. This will involve them making a legally binding agreement setting out the way everything will be divided.
This is the financial remedies order.
The application process begins with the completion of a ‘Form A’ which is then sent to the court dealing with the divorce. The form confirms which type of order is being sought and if any pension arrangements will be sought. The latter is often ticked and subject to disclosure received.
Once the Form A has been received the court will consider a range of factors relating to the age, assets and earning potential of the parties. They will also try to find the resolution that will offer a clean break so the parties can get on with their lives with minimal contact with each other.
During financial remedies proceedings the court has the authority to make several different types of financial orders, including but not limited to:
Maintenance Orders to ensure one of the parties makes the required maintenance payments to the other party.
Lump Sum Orders to facilitate the single payment of a lump sum of money from one spouse to the other (this payment can be instead of or in addition to the Maintenance Order).
Transfers of Property to enable the transfer of property (including tenancies and shares in companies owning property) from one party to the other.
Pension Sharing Orders so pensions can be shared or transferred between divorcing parties and/or to provide the parties with equal pension rights when they reach retirement age.
The type/s of order the court will make will always depend on the circumstances around each case. Some cases may require all the different types, some will only need one but once the orders have been made, they will be brought together in a final order. This provides a binding definition of exactly how the finances and assets will be split.
Reaching any financial remedies order will likely require help from experienced solicitors and barristers. Westgate Chambers’ specialist Matrimonial and Financial Remedy team has that expertise. If you would like to discuss how we could help you or your client reach the fairest financial remedy in a divorce of dissolution of a civil partnership, please contact us today.