The ending of financial obligations upon divorce


It is a common misconception that when parties divorce, their financial obligations come to an end. This is most definitely not the case. When two people get married, a financial relationship is created. Upon divorce, the financial relationship must be brought to an end to create legal finality by way of a Financial Remedy Order which must represent a clean break. Obligations to children, however, do not end until the youngest child attains the age of 18, or finishes full time education. In the absence of a clean break, the parties are vulnerable to a claim against them by the ex-spouse, and this potential is not time barred. Even if the parties have no assets as such at the time of divorce, they must look to the future and the possibility of any future likely inheritance, a lottery win, or any other such windfall.

The making of a Financial Order does not necessarily mean that the parties must go through a costly Court process. if an agreement can be reached by, say, negotiation through solicitors, or by way of mediation. Any agreement reached should be embodied into a carefully drafted Order, to encompass a clean break, to be approved by the Court. Upon the sealing of the Order, the potential for future claims against each other are brought to an end.

It is not fatal if Decree Absolute has been pronounced without an Order in place. This can be dealt with after divorce, but it is not ideal, due to the risks involved, not forgetting any pension claims.

The family team at Barker Gotelee can offer advice in an interview in an endeavour to afford you the maximum financial protection through negotiation or mediation referral.

Carol Robinson is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.

Ipswich Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk