What is a financial remedy order?

A Financial Remedy Order is a legal document which sets out the terms of a financial settlement between two people when they divorce or dissolve a civil partnership. The Financial Remedy Order (FRO) is sent to the Court and once approved by the judge, it becomes a legally binding document.

Why do I need an FRO?

A FRO is an important part of the divorce proceedings or dissolving a civil partnership. There are three issues to deal with on separation: (i) the divorce, which is the legal process of terminating the relationship, (ii) the arrangements surrounding any children and (iii) how the marital finances should be dealt with. The FRO addresses the financial aspect, including whether there will be a clean break. A clean break means that the parties cannot make any further claim against the other or their Estate.

What if I don’t get a FRO?

If there is no FRO in place once a couple has divorced, the parties will still be able to make a financial claim against the other: this is still the case even after many years of separation. If a clean break is not legally documented in the FRO and, for example, one party comes into an inheritance or gets a better paid job, however long after the divorce, the other party could potentially make a claim.

What are the benefits of an FRO?

A FRO is a way to safeguard your financial future after a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. If you don’t have a FRO in place, however amicable your split might be, there is always the possibility of having a financial claim made against you in the future. The FRO will give you a confirmed financial settlement, peace of mind and can also make tasks such as tax planning much easier.

My ex and I have sorted out our finances ourselves. Do we still need a FRO?

It’s always much easier if couples can come to an amicable agreement when they separate. However, a FRO will put this agreement into a legally binding document which protects both of you, providing certainty about your financial situations going forward and allowing you to move on with your lives. You can always take any agreement you have drawn up between you to a solicitor who will be able to put it into the appropriate format to present to the Court.

What if one of us remarries?

The timing of the FRO and the divorce needs to be carefully considered. Usually, the FRO will be put into place by a solicitor during the divorce proceedings. However, if your divorce goes through without a FRO and one of you remarries without keeping their financial claims open, the newly married party will lose their right to claim against their ex-partner, whilst the ex-partner’s right to claim will remain open, proving potentially contentious and costly.

I just want to get my divorce over and done with. Can I get a FRO at a later date?

Many people are keen to finalise their divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible. Although a FRO will generally be put in place during the divorce process, it is not a requirement to obtain the Final Order, which legally ends the marriage or Dissolution Order which terminates the civil partnership. A FRO can be arranged after a divorce, so if you are in any doubt as to whether your arrangements included a FRO, you can speak to one of the family team at Barker Gotelee who will be able to advise you on putting this in place.

How do I arrange a FRO?

Contacting a reliable and well-established firm of solicitors should be your priority, whether you want to discuss a divorce generally or specifically the financial circumstances of a relationship breakdown. The family team at Barker Gotelee has a wealth of experience and expertise in this area and will be able to provide the legal advice you need during what can be an emotionally difficult and often overwhelming time.

For further information about arranging a Financial Remedy Order or for any other family law matter, please contact Katherine Parker on 01473 350 580 or by email: katherine.parker@barkergotelee.co.uk.

Katherine Parker is a solicitor in the Family Department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.

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

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.