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Posted by familylaw on 19th December 2011

One of the main concerns you may have on the breakdown of your marriage is how your finances are to be divided.

The following is intended to provide an overview of the main points concerning these financial matters known legally as financial relief.

Types of Claims

On divorce or judicial separation you and your spouse have the right to bring certain financial claims against each other. These are as follows:

  • Periodical Payments

This is an order where one party would pay to the other an amount of money every month. This is commonly known as ‘Spousal Maintenance’ and would mean that you would be tied to your spouse long after the divorce is finalised.

  • Secured Periodical Payments

These are very similar, except that they are secured upon a particular asset so that if the party paying the sum of money defaulted the asset would be at risk.

  • Lump Sums

This is where one party pays to another a sum of money, usually to compensate that party for the loss of interest in another asset.

  • Property Adjustment Orders

This is where the ownership of an asset is transferred to one of the parties.

  • Maintenance Pending Suit

This is where one party pays to the other a sum of money on a regular basis until the financial aspect of the divorce is settled.

  • Clean Break

This effectively draws a line under the marriage and ensures that neither party can make any further financial claims. If the court does not make this order either party can make a claim against the other even if Decree Absolute has been granted. There is no time limit on making financial claim even years after the divorce. Only the court can dismiss financial claims.

  • Child Maintenance Orders

This is where the court orders one party to pay to the other a sum of money on a regular basis for the benefit of any children of the relationship. If such an order is made 12 months from the date of that order either party can apply to the CSA for an assessment. Of course if you do not wish for this to happen then an application would need to be made before the 12 months have expired. On the 12-month anniversary and every 12 months thereafter an application would need to be made to vary the order to keep the court involved. Otherwise if either party makes an application to the CSA the court will lose jurisdiction and the CSA will take precedence over the court.

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