Application to the Court for Financial Orders
At SDK Law we have solicitors who specialise in the division of financial assets on relationship breakdown. We will always try to reach an agreed solution although occasionally this does not prove possible and in such circumstances an application to the Court is the last resort so obtain Financial Orders. The type of Orders which are appropriate vary from case to case although they can include those set out below.
These take the form of regular amounts of maintenance which one party is ordered to pay to the other.
Lump Sum Orders
The Court can order one person to pay the other a lump sum of money. Lump sum Orders may be made for a variety of purposes and can be ordered to be paid out of the proceeds of sale of the matrimonial home or as a division of other capital assets of the parties. On occasions, the lump sum can be ordered to be paid by instalments.
Property Adjustment Orders
This is where the Court can require the matrimonial home to be transferred over to one party or for the property to be sold and show provide how the proceeds are to be divided.
An Order can be made for a percentage of one person’s pension to be transferred into the pension fund of the other and is known as a Pension sharing Order. Alternatively, the Court may make what is commonly known as a Pension Attachment Order where the person receiving the pension payments pay part of them to the other. This type of arrangement is not commonly used as it carries a lot of uncertainty.
The Law Involved and Court Procedure
If it is necessary for there to be an application for Financial Orders, then it is also usual for this to occur after mediation has been unsuccessful. An application is issued stating what Orders are required and each person will have to complete a detailed statement setting out full details of their financial positions within a set period. It is possible that there may be three Court hearings and a substantial amount of paperwork being produced. This all takes a lot of time and it is common for applications to take about 12 months to be concluded.
The first consideration must be the welfare of any children of the family and the Court will try to ensure that any children are adequately housed and have enough money to meet their needs. There are however several other factors including:-
(a) The incomes and future earning capacities of both parties;
(b) The financial resources and housing needs of them both;
(c) The length of the relationship – the longer the relationship the stronger the presumption that equality is the starting point;
(d) The contributions made both in terms of money and care of the family;
The Court will have regard to all the circumstances of a case and will make an Order which is fair. There is no mathematical equation and hence no one correct solution. There are a range of Orders which the court can properly make which is why it can be difficult to predict the likely outcome, especially prior to the exchange of the financial information. The starting point is generally to consider whether the assets should be divided equally, and after a long relationship, it can be difficult to persuade any Court to depart from this.