Going through a divorce or civil partnership dissolution can be an incredibly challenging and emotional time. It is important to understand the potential complexities of resolving financial matters, including financial remedy orders, during these major life changes,.

Whether you’re contemplating a divorce, currently involved in legal proceedings, or seeking advice on post-divorce financial arrangements, our guide to financial remedy orders is here to assist you in navigating your path ahead.

What is a Financial Remedy Order?

A financial remedy order, also known as a financial order or a consent order, is a legal arrangement made or approved by a court in divorce or civil partnership dissolution. The order states how the couple’s assets will be shared, with the main objective being to ensure a fair settlement to both parties.

What do Financial Remedy Orders include?

In family law and divorce cases, the court can make and approve different types of financial remedy orders to address the division of assets between the parties involved. Some of the more common types of financial remedy orders are:

Property Adjustment Orders

A property adjustment order specifies how a couple’s properties will be divided between them. This will usually involve either an immediate sale of a property or a delayed sale, or an immediate or delayed transfer to one party.

Various factors will be taken into consideration with the first consideration being the needs of any dependent children, and other factors such as:

  • Income needs and resources.
  • Earning capacities.
  • Age of the parties.
  • Length of the marriage.
  • Contributions made during the marriage or civil partnership.
  • Other relevant circumstances.

Pension Sharing Orders

A pension sharing order can be made in favour of one party to provide them with pension assets to ensure a fair division of future retirement benefits between the parties. Pensions can often be a complex area and will often involve pension on divorce experts to guide and advise on division of pensions.

Periodical Payment Orders (Maintenance Orders)

Such orders are made to provide regular financial support payments to one party in the marriage. It covers both spousal maintenance, where one partner provides financial support to the other, and child maintenance, which provides financial support for children.

Lump Sum Orders

A lump sum order can be made as either a single payment or by instalments, as part of the financial settlement.

Clean Break Order

In each case the court will consider the appropriateness of terminating all financial claims and responsibilities as part of the financial settlement, to provide financial independence to both parties.

A clean break order prevents parties from making financial claims against the other in the future, in life or in the event of the other’s person death against their estate.

When is a Financial Remedy Order necessary?

If parties can agree financial arrangements, they can embody their agreement into a financial remedy order which is then an order made by consent, or a ‘consent order’.

If parties cannot agree financial matters (between themselves, through solicitors, or through alternative dispute resolution methods), then applications can be made to the Court to seek financial remedy orders. If the parties do not settle their claims within that court process, then at a final hearing, the Judge will make a Financial Remedy Order detailing the terms of settlement and any appropriate orders.

Do I need a Solicitor for a Financial Remedy Order?

It is not compulsory for parties to be legally represented within financial remedy Court proceedings. However, dealing with financial matters during a divorce or civil partnership dissolution can be complicated.

Instructing a family lawyer to represent you in the court process ensures you have appropriate support in relation to the preparation of legal documents, and ensures you can properly comply with court directions and deadlines.

A family lawyer can advise you in relation to likely outcomes and guide you on settlement parameters including negotiating on your behalf. A family lawyer can put together legal arguments to support your case and position and can also provide representation at court hearings, which is often a daunting aspect for parties involved.

If parties can agree a financial settlement without going to Court, it is necessary to have at least one solicitor involved in the preparation of the Financial Remedy Order as such Orders require careful drafting and expertise to ensure they are legally accurate and enforceable.

How long does it take to obtain a Financial Remedy Order?

If parties can agree financial agreements themselves or can do so with the support of family law solicitors or mediators, this may take in the region of 3 to 6 months. Once an Order is submitted to the Court for approval, the process usually takes around 3 to 5 weeks for the Judge to consider the application.

If parties need to make applications to Court, the Court process can take anywhere between 6 and 12 months.

Download our information about the Court process.

Factors Considered by the Court

The Court has regard to several factors when determining financial claims as part of divorce. These are detailed under Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

These include:

  • Current and future financial needs and obligations.
  • Current and future income, earning capacity, and financial resources.
  • Both financial and non-financial contributions made to the marriage or partnership.
  • Age of the parties and length of the marriage and relationship.
  • Conduct (if very significant).

For a more in depth look at the factors that are considered, visit our financial remedies page.

Financial Remedy Order Solicitors

If you require assistance with financial remedy orders during a divorce or civil partnership dissolution, our team of skilled family lawyers are available to provide advice and guidance. Please contact us today to arrange an initial meeting with one of our team.