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Financial provision on divorce

When a marriage breaks down many difficult questions will need to be addressed regarding the financial consequences of the breakdown. This area of law is known as ancillary relief and is probably the most complex area of all family law.

financial provision on divorce

At Viberts, our team will provide you with advice throughout your divorce on financial matters. These are the main issues that clients may face.

What orders can the court make?

The short term

Final orders can only be made by the court once a decree nisi is ordered by the court.

At an early stage in divorce proceedings it is possible to apply for Maintenance Pending Suit. This exists to bridge the gap between commencing divorce proceedings and the end of the proceedings. This is therefore a short term or temporary measure.

The order will be for the regular payment of a sum of money by way of maintenance. It will continue until matters are finally determined either by agreement or by a court hearing.

The long term

The court can order:

(a) Financial provision order i.e. periodical payments for the other spouse and/or children,   and lump sums;

(b) Property adjustment orders i.e. transfer/settlement of immovable property.

The procedure

You will be advised by us as to when to make an application for ancillary relief. In addition we will also ensure that all the possible options for financial relief are discussed with you.

Once a summons for financial relief is filed it will be necessary to file financial disclosure with the court. This is initially done by an Affidavit of Means and is intended to give a complete picture of your financial circumstances.

Throughout the financial proceedings the court will be considering all your financial affairs and those of the other party. It is therefore essential that you keep all documents safely and produce them for your lawyer when asked to do so.

A further stage of financial disclosure normally now takes place through financial questionnaires.

It is essential again that all relevant documents are disclosed.

Examples of what documents will be requested are:

  •  Bank statements
  •  Credit card statements
  •  Details of insurance policies
  •  Details of loan agreements
  •  Details of pensions
  •  Receipts for food, motoring, utility bills etc.

If you own immovable property a valuation will need to be disclosed and ideally agreed.

The most complex cases are those involving any of the following:

  •  Inheritances
  •  Large pensions
  •  Overseas assets
  •  Private companies or partnerships
  •  Self-employed individuals
  •  Trusts or foundations

Financial provision case study – Roy’s story

Roy and Hayley have been married for over 30 years but are now going through a very difficult patch in their marriage. Roy asks for some preliminary advice about possible divorce proceedings. In particular, he wants to know what may happen to the business in which they are joint shareholders and which is their only source of income. 

Roy wants everything to be settled as amicably as possible and has discussed the possibility of mediation or collaborative law with Hayley. He also wants to know about the possible grounds for any divorce proceedings.

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