Financial Remedy, formerly known as Ancillary Relief, is the term given to the law relating to the financial provision and division of assets upon the breakdown of a marriage.
The powers of the court and the orders available fall into two main categories, namely income and capital orders.
The income orders are:
- Maintenance Pending Suit;
- Periodical Payments;
- Secured Periodical Payments.
The capital orders are:
- Lump Sum Orders;
- Property Adjustment Orders;
- Orders for Sale;
- Pension Sharing Orders.
You may apply for any of the above orders, or indeed all of them, on or after the filing of the Divorce Petition which instigates divorces proceedings. However, with the exception of Maintenance Pending Suit, the application cannot be heard until the Decree Nisi has been granted, which is the penultimate order in divorce proceedings. No order will take effect until the Decree Absolute is granted, which is the final order dissolving the marriage. By contrast, most applications for provision for children may be made and heard at any time and such orders take immediate effect.
The court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case, first consideration being given to the welfare of a child under 18 when making any order.
There are eight factors to be considered by the court in determining the division of matrimonial assets, namely:
- Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the parties;
- Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of the parties;
- Standard of living enjoyed by the family;
- Age of the parties and duration of the marriage;
- Physical or mental disability of the parties;
- Contributions including looking after the home and family;
- Conduct of the parties which would be deemed to be inequitable to disregard;
- Any benefit which a party will lose the chance of acquiring e.g. pensions.
This aspect of family law can be the most stressful and difficult for a client. We understand this and can tailor our approach accordingly.