Financial Remedy Order
Whilst a divorce separates you from your marriage to your former spouse, you will need to get a Financial Remedy Order to separate you from them financially.
Sometimes, when separating couples are able to agree their finances amicably either through mediation or negotiation, they can have their agreement drawn up in a Consent Order which can then be stamped by the Family Court.
It is often the case that parties are unable to agree the division of marital assets. In these cases, parties will need to enlist the assistance of the Family Court by filing and application for Financial Remedy.
The FINANCIAL REMEDY process
Let’s divide the assets?
The Financial Remedy Court (FRC) is a Court which is part of the wider Family Court. They determine disputes of a financial nature between separating spouses and assist them in reaching a resolution before the costs get out of hand.
The Court has powers to make financial orders in line with the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, but in essence, the main powers the Court will have are to make orders for:
- Maintenance (pending suit or in general)
- Property Adjustment (transfer of property)
- payment of a lump sum
- Pension sharing/attachment
These matters can only be resolved in one of two ways. The first being an Order of the Court (either by Consent Order or at the end of proceedings) or, when one party re-marries. In the second scenario, a person may still be able to benefit from financial remedy proceedings however they must have made a claim for Financial Remedy prior to remarriage. If they fail to bring an application before their remarriage, they fall relinquish their right to a claim.
If you have managed to agree a financial settlement with your partner either through private negotiation or with the assistance of a mediator, then you will need to draw your agreements up in a Consent Order.
The Order comprises of your agreements along with standard statutory elements which bar either party from bringing any further claim against each other once the Order is made. This is known as ‘clean break’ and is what separates both parties from their financial obligations to one another.
This Order will then be signed by both you and your partner who may wish to take their own legal advice on the contents before signing. The Order is then considered by a judge who will ensure the contents are fair and no undue influence was present whilst coming to a settlement.
The financial remedy process is a mult-faceted one and often takes months if not years to run its course. It begins with an application to the Court through a form called the Form A. In order to make this application, you will need to have attended mediation or acquired a signed form from your Mediator advising that mediations is not an option.
Once an application is issues, the Court will list the matter for a first hearing known as an FDA. Before this hearing, you will be required to submit your financial information to the other party through a Form E. This disclosure is so both parties and the court can ascertain the full financial landscape and proceed to attempting to divide the assets and reach and agreement. If the landscape is disputed, then parties are able to ask questions to get a clearer picture of the other parties assets.
The matter will then be listed for an FDR which is a private hearing in which you are expected to have already attempted to negotiate or have sent your offer to the other party to settle. The judge at this hearing will consider offers made and provide an indication of what a judge at a final hearing would likely Order. This should assist parties in negotiation and majority of financial remedy applications conclude at this stage as parties then concede positions and agree a settlement which is favourable to both sides. They also conclude matters early so not to incur the hefty legal costs of going to a final hearing.
It may be possible for you to retain the home you are staying in even if it is not in your name. You will need to provide to the Court however an explanation as to why you need this house and you cannot live elsewhere.
Some reasons may be that the house is adapted for a child or you, that you are unable to rehouse elsewhere in the area due to affordability or that you have sufficient funds to buy out the other party of their share.
Please note however that, in order to secure the entire home, it should at the very least be valued at half of the marital pot or less.
Property adjustment Orders are not rare, but assessed on a case by case basis. Please call our office to discuss your matter to see if you are able to retain your home.
Pensions can be very lucrative and all our client’s are always advised on engaging in mutual disclosure before negotiating a settlement so they do not miss out on undisclosed pension benefits.
Pensions secure you for your retirement and many people fail to think of this when divorcing. You should note however that pension sharing or attachment Orders come at the end of costly litigation and should only be pursued where the pension is high enough to counter the costs. We generally advise clients to pursue a claim against an ex partners pension where the pension Transfer Value is above £200,000.00.
Call our dedicated family lawyers to discuss how we can help you in your financial remedy matter on 0121 690 4000.
If you are going through a divorce and have negotiated a financial settlement, need help in reaching one, or contemplating initiating financial remedy proceedings, call our friendly team now to discuss your options further on
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