Posted On / 05.05.2015

Decree Absolute Does Not End Financial Claims

It is a common misconception that, when you receive your Decree Absolute ending your marriage your financial claims have concluded too. Unfortunately, this is not the case and it is very important to understand that finalising the divorce does not mean that your ex-spouse can no longer make any financial claim against you. Nor does receiving your Decree Absolute bring any existing financial process to an end.

The court will process your application for divorce usually on an entirely paper based basis assuming the divorce is undefended; however your financial involvement with your ex-spouse will not be fully resolved until the terms of any distribution of assets are contained within a sealed Court Order. This may be a significant time after your Decree Absolute is pronounced. The financial element process will depend on how amicable or acrimonious the split from your spouse has been. If you are able to reach an agreement with your spouse, the process is generally much quicker. If no agreement is reached and the judge has to determine the position this could mean the matter remains in litigation much longer. It will also very much depend on how complex the financial situation is for you and your spouse.

The good news is that wherever possible and practical to do so, the court will attempt to achieve a clean break so that eventually both parties can move on. It is very important that if there are any financial assets when divorcing that the claims are concluded within a sealed Order. The effect otherwise is that both parties’ claims potentially remain open and your ex-spouse could return the matter to Court at a future date and the Court are only able to consider the parties’ positions at the time the application is presented, not at the time of Decree Absolute. This can leave you vulnerable and it is strongly recommended that legal advice is sought at the time of separation and divorce to ensure that you have settled any financial claims legally.

It is also essential that any financial Order made is put into effect which may include the transfer or sale of any property or business. It is highly recommended to update your Will when divorcing so it is clear what happens to your estate on death. Battens offer a comprehensive legal service and can cover all aspects of the divorce including implementation of any financial settlement within their family team and across the firm to ensure a seamless service that gives you the peace of mind you deserve.

I can advise on all aspects of divorce, financial settlement and any issues that arise in relation to arrangements for children. If you would like an initial consultation please call me on 01935 814811 or email hollie.knapman@battens.co.uk.