Upon divorce, I would advise couples to obtain a Financial Order. This is so there is a legally binding agreement showing how the couple’s finances should be settled. Where possible it is preferable for couples to have a clean break so that each spouse can move forward to live an independent life.
Once a Financial Order has been approved by a Judge within the divorce proceedings, it is very difficult to challenge or appeal that Order. Judges will only consider appeals in exceptional circumstances.
An appeal can be considered by Court when there is a significant change in circumstances very soon after the Financial Order has been made.
An Example of Appealing a Financial Order Following Divorce
Whilst sitting at the High Court, Mr Justice Holman was recently asked to consider an application by a husband to appeal a Financial Order that had been made as part of his divorce proceedings. The Financial Order was that the wife would receive 70% of the money from the sale of the family home, as she was the main carer of the couple’s children. The husband would get only 30%.
The Significant Change in Circumstances
Approximately six weeks after the Financial Order was made the wife was found to have committed a criminal offence. The offence concerned an incident between the mother and the couple’s then 13-year-old daughter. As a result of this incident, the children lived with their father rather than their mother.
Mr Justice Holman decided that, due to the change in the couple’s circumstances, whereby the children were now living with their father rather than their mother only six weeks after the Financial Order was made, the husband was entitled to appeal against the Financial Order. Mr Justice Holman believed that the husband’s application to appeal had a realistic prospect of success.
The husband’s application will now be considered by the Court to see whether it is appropriate for the original Financial Order to be adjusted in light of the change in the couple’s circumstances.
Amy Harris is a Family Law Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
If you need advice on appealing or obtaining a Financial Order contact the Family Law Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers by calling us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.
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