The pronouncement of Decree Absolute (please note that from 6th April 2022 ‘Decree Absolute’ will simply be referred to as the ‘Final Order’) finalises the divorce and brings an end to your marriage. It does not however, bring an end to any financial issues that may exist or arise between the parties. A financial court order is required to properly resolve any such issues and to finally draw a line under possible future claims. This is not always made clear during the online divorce process.
Divorcing couples should also be aware that the pronouncement of Decree Absolute can have significant implications if one of the parties subsequently dies before all financial issues have been dealt with. In such a scenario the surviving party may, to give some examples, miss out on an inheritance from their ex-spouse’s estate and/or on possible entitlements under any pensions the ex-spouse might have had. Accordingly, and depending on your circumstances, it is likely to be in your best interests to have an agreed financial settlement in place before you look to finalise a divorce.
How we can help:
- If you and your spouse are able to reach a financial settlement agreement, we can assist you a) in preparing a suitable court order in line with that agreement, and b) in then applying to the court for endorsement of that court order (thus rendering it binding and closing the door on future financial claims and issues). It is usual for such an order to include a ‘clean break’ provision although on occasion it is appropriate for there to be ongoing maintenance payments under a settlement (again, this is something that our experienced team of family law experts can advise you on).
- If you are unsure about whether a proposed financial settlement is ‘fair’ and in your best interests, we can assess the terms of the settlement and offer advice. In the meantime, as above, we would advise against applying for Decree Absolute and finalising the divorce.
- If you have not been able to reach a financial settlement agreement with your spouse, or make any progress in this regard, we can assist you with negotiations and ultimately represent you in contested court proceedings if it becomes clear that unfortunately it is not going to be possible to settle matters by agreement.
Sorting out financial issues on separation and divorce is a daunting prospect for couples; but it is important for your future, and the future of any children of the marriage, that you properly resolve and draw a line under these issues so that you can move on with your lives. If you are struggling to reach an agreement, we can help to resolve issues with as little conflict and cost as possible, whilst ensuring you understand your legal rights and options throughout the process.
If you are unsure or confused about any financial claims on divorce, please contact our team for a free initial telephone consultation on 01926 354704.