Financial Orders on Divorce/Dissolution of Civil Partnership

Helen Cort, Legal Director at BDB Pitmans, sets out the different types of financial order that can be made following divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership and what approach the court takes.

What orders can a court make?
When you divorce or end a civil partnership you and your former partner need to agree how to separate your finances. You can usually avoid going to court if you can reach an agreement between yourselves. If this is not possible, the court has the power to order:

  • Maintenance for spouse and child(ren)
  • Lump sum orders
  • Property adjustment orders (altering the ownership of property)
  • Pension sharing orders and pension attachment orders.

What approach does the court take?
There is no standard formula for calculating financial provision on divorce as each case is individual. The court has a duty to consider all the circumstances of the case and to take into account a range of specific factors set out in statute. The court’s approach is to calculate and then distribute the parties’ available resources to meet needs and achieve a fair outcome. The court’s first consideration is the welfare of any child(ren) of the family under the age of 18.

Where possible, the court seeks to achieve a clean break between parties on divorce, so that they are no longer financially dependent on one another.

How do I make a financial agreement enforceable?
Your financial agreement should be drawn up into a consent order and filed at court. Once approved by a judge it will be binding and legally enforceable.

For further information on any of these issues please contact Helen Cort of BDB Pitmans’ specialist family team in Southampton on 02380 831919.  

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