Finances upon divorce
At NJP Solicitors we have a team of family solicitors who can assist with dividing asset/finances during a divorce. We can help wherever you are based and can meet via video conference if required.
When a couple divorce they will need to sort out their finances, including how their assets are divided. This can be done by agreement, or by making an application to the court for a ‘financial remedy order’. Either way, it is important to know what kind of orders can be made, and how the law decides what orders are appropriate.
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Financial remedy orders
There are essentially four different types of financial remedies order:
- Periodical payments, requiring one party to make regular payments to the other (i.e. spouse maintenance – child maintenance is dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service if it is not agreed, rather than by the courts). These orders will either last indefinitely (until the death of either party, the remarriage of the recipient, or further court order), or for a limited, specified, time.
- Lump sum orders, requiring one party to pay a lump sum of money to the other party. The order will state by when the money should be paid, and this can include payment by instalments.
- Property adjustment orders, adjusting the ownership of property, for example transferring the ownership of property from one party to the other, or adjusting the shares in a property.
- Pension orders, in particular pension sharing orders, which transfer all or part of one party’s pension fund into a pension fund owned by the other party. Note that this does not mean that the other party will receive the money
It is important to note that even if financial matters have been agreed, the terms of agreement should be incorporated into a court order, known as a ‘consent order’ – for more information, see this page.
How the court decides what orders to make
When a court is considering what financial remedies orders to make the starting-point in all cases is that each party is entitled to an equal share of the assets of the marriage unless there is a good reason to the contrary.
The court will look at all of the circumstances of the case, in particular, the following factors:
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the parties.
- The financial needs of the parties, in particular their income and housing needs, including the housing needs of any dependent children.
- The ages of the parties. This could be relevant, for example, if one or both of the parties are approaching pension age.
- The duration of the marriage – a party’s financial entitlement may be greater the longer the marriage.
- The financial contributions of each party to the marriage, in particular any wealth that a party accumulated prior to the marriage.
- The conduct of the parties, although only very serious bad conduct is likely to have a bearing upon the financial settlement.
Applying for a financial remedies order
If you wish to apply for a financial remedies order, then it is strongly recommended that you take advice from an expert family solicitor.