When going through divorce proceedings, it is always sensible to resolve financial matters fully before considering remarriage. But what happens if you remarry before finances have been resolved?
If you were to remarry before resolving financial matters, it is possible that you will be prevented from applying for a financial order through the courts.
An application for a financial order can be initiated either by ticking the relevant boxes in the divorce petition or by issuing an application in Form A.
It is usual practice to include an application for a financial order in a divorce petition even if you do not intend to pursue an application with the court for a financial order. By proceeding in this way, your claims will remain open and will be protected in the event of remarriage.
If an application for a financial order has not been made in the divorce petition, or separately in Form A and you remarry, you will be barred from making an application to the court for a financial provision order or a property adjustment order. This means that you will not be able to apply to the court for periodical payments, a lump sum order or an order in relation to property. You will not, however, be barred from making a claim in relation to your spouse’s pension.
Spousal maintenance claims cannot be preserved following remarriage and therefore, if your spousal maintenance claim has been left open or if there is a spousal maintenance order in force, upon remarriage, your claims for spousal maintenance will automatically be dismissed.
In order to avoid the risk of the “remarriage trap” our advice would be to wait until your divorce and financial matters are resolved before considering remarriage.
Upon divorce, your financial claims against each other will not automatically be dismissed.
Financial claims can only be dismissed if the court makes a final order in financial proceedings, or if a consent order was approved by the court, which records the agreement that has been reached. It is always sensible to enter into a consent order to finalise financial claims upon divorce.
If you have any concerns or uncertainties about divorce or remarriage, it is advisable to consult a family law specialist who will be able to assist you.
Slater and Gordon Family Lawyers are experts in Divorce and Financial matters. For an initial consultation call us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.