Your family lawyer
London and the South East
+44 (0) 1424 300 013
You can ask the court to make orders about money (and about children) if necessary, during (or after) the divorce, but these legal processes are completely separate from the divorce itself.
In relation to financial matters, sometimes the term ‘ancillary relief’ is used as this remans the term used in the Matrimonial Causes Act, although this has been replaced by the Family Procedure Rules 20210 with the phrase 'financial orders'.
For ease of reference I use the phrase 'matrimonial finances'.
Dealing with matrimonial finances can sometimes be quite straight forward.
Often it is possible to agree a financial settlement without the necessity of court proceedings. The parties may have limited assets and may not wish to incur costs in respect of contested proceedings, or their financial circumstances may be relatively straightforward and an agreement can be reached promptly.
However all too often, following the high stress environment following the break down of a relationship, people can become acrimonious and are unable to reach an agreement over how to deal with things.
This can make things a lot more complicated and sadly expensive. Things can be even more complicated by the ranges of financial orders and financial remedies open to the people.
Additionally sometimes an application to the court may be preferable or desirable where the financial circumstances of the parties are complex and they would benefit from a court controlled timetable.
There is a requirement for parties to attend a family mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) before making an application to the court.
Following mediation (or if mediation is not appropriate) the person seeking financial assistance from the court makes an application. It is important to obtain advise from a solicitor before making the application to make sure you are applying for the correct remedy.
Upon issuing an application, the court will set out an initial timetable and require parties to provide financial disclosure etc so that the other side financial position can be determined, and proposal for settlement can be made.
When advising clients I try to take an calm and caring approach in discussing things with you, to put you at ease and support you in understanding what your options are.
I find taking a pragmatic view in relation to matters helps achieve the best possible outcome for my clients. Contact me if you would like a chat about matters