Many couples believe that upon decree absolute all financial claims and ties between them are relinquished and continue on in their daily lives without giving it a further thought. Divorce and finance lawyer Donna Hart explains why divorce without financial settlement is not always the clean break couples had hoped.
In 2018 90,871 mixed sex marriages ended in divorce and 428 same sex marriages ended in divorce.
Many of those couples will not have had legal advice about their financial position and won’t have filed an Order at Court setting out their agreement. Those couples may have thought that they didn’t need to as they don’t have any assets – but this is wrong!
Divorce without financial settlement could be impact accrued assets post separation
Without having filed an Order at Court could mean that a number of years after your divorce your spouse might come back and ask the court to consider the financial position.
This means that assets accrued post separation and divorce could be taken into account at a later date if your former spouse decides to make a claim.
No time limit on making a claim
There is no time limit on making a claim meaning that that your financial position could be considered by the court and your former spouse at any point in the future. The only bar to this is if you have remarried. If you remarry you cannot go back and make a claim but if your former spouse is unmarried they will be able to.
This is a clear risk when trying to plan your future. Should you receive an inheritance, promotion, meet a new partner and purchase a house together your former spouse could potentially come and make a claim. Claims under the Inheritance Act could also be made upon your death.
No or limited assets shouldn’t stop you seeking financial settlement
If there are no assets at the time of the divorce you would still be advised to document that there are no assets and there is going to be clean break between you. This ensures the protection of future assets.
If you are divorced without a financial settlement you can seek to obtain a Court Order at any time. For further information please do get in touch by email [email protected] or by telephone 01392 421777