The importance of a Financial Remedy Order Upon Divorce

A common misconception in Family Law is that once the Final Order of the divorce (previously known as the Decree Absolute) is granted, matters have concluded, and the ex-spouses can walk away with financial independence from one another.

Upon marriage, certain rights and responsibilities are acquired which remain in place until the marriage is ended by divorce. What is not known to a lot of people, is that regardless of whether or not the Final Order of the divorce has been made, without a financial remedy order, the door is left ajar and the opportunity for one of the ex-spouses to issue an application for financial remedy proceedings to deal with the financial aspects of the marriage is very much still alive.

Let’s turn to an analogy. A married couple decide that their marriage has come to an end and the divorce process is started. They remain amicable with one another and decide to agree the financial arrangements between themselves without legal advice from a Family Law specialist. The financial aspects of their marriage are divided between them, and the Final Order of the divorce is granted. All sorted, right? Not quite.

Now imagine that 1 year later, the ex-wife in the scenario wins the lottery and receives a jackpot of £1milllion. As the ex-spouses did not formalise their financial agreement in a Court approved financial remedy order, the door is still left open for the ex-husband to make an application for financial remedy proceedings claiming an interest in the ex-wife’s sudden increase in capital.

This is not to say that the ex-husband would be successful in his application, but the opportunity for him to make the application is there. Meaning that the ex-wife would then be obliged to participate in legal proceedings and incur legal costs in opposing the application. All of which could be avoided by instructing a Family Law specialist to incorporate the financial agreement reached between them into a financial remedy order and filing it with the Court for approval.  

The key point to remember from the above analogy, is that even where an agreement is reached amicably between divorcing individuals, it is vital that the agreement is drawn up into a Court approved financial remedy order to, where appropriate, cut the financial ties and provide financial independence and closure for each party moving forward. Dealing with financial matters upon divorce efficiently in the first instance, can save a lot of unnecessary stress, time, and costs in the future.

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