Beware: a divorce is not enough

Article

18 June, 2008

As a result of recent high profile divorce cases such as Mills and McCartney, it appears more people are now choosing to represent themselves in divorce proceedings than ever before, as Heather Mills decided to do. However this recent surge in 'DIY divorces' can lead to many potential problems years down the line according to Divorce Solicitors

The family law team at Forbes includes specialist family solicitors and divorce lawyers who offer advice on all areas of family law, including divorce, dividing family assets following marriage breakdown, cohabitation agreements, ancillary relief, civil partnerships, children's law and change of name deeds.
For a free consultation about divorce please contact any of our divorce experts on freephone 0800 689 1058 or by email

at Forbes.

Many who choose to represent themselves are under the illusion that once divorced neither husband nor wife can make any financial claims against the other in the future. This is most certainly not the case. A divorce does not, in itself, prevent either party from making a financial claim against the other in the future.

There are an increasing number of cases where one party or the other decides to make a financial claim many years after the divorce itself has concluded. This can be because the person applying feels that the original agreement was unfair or sometimes simply because they have spent their share and would like some more. This can often lead to complicated and expensive Court proceedings, in order to decide what an appropriate division of the matrimonial assets is.

It may be that husband and wife have, by agreement, divided the assets between themselves or intend to do so. However, the only way to make sure that an ex spouse cannot make a future claim is to seek a "Clean Break Order" from the Court. This will firstly record how the assets have been, or are to be split and dismiss all future financial claims that either party may have against the other. It is wise to seek a Clean Break Order at the earliest opportunity, however the old saying that sometimes, "it is better later than never" is very true in this case.

A Clean Break Order is often quite complicated and difficult to draft and it is therefore essential to seek help from a qualified solicitor. For anyone who divorced several years ago but did not seek a Clean Break Order it is still advisable to seek such an Order. Often, obtaining a Clean Break Order is largely a paperwork exercise, so long as both parties consent to the order being made. Once the application is signed by both parties it is sent to the Court for the approval of the District Judge. The last thing anyone wants is for an ex spouse to return several years down the line asking for more money, particularly if you have had a large lottery win!!

The family law team at Forbes includes specialist family solicitors and divorce lawyers who offer advice on all areas of family law, including divorce, dividing family assets following marriage breakdown, cohabitation agreements, ancillary relief, civil partnerships, children's law and change of name deeds.

For a free consultation about divorce please contact any of our divorce experts on freephone 0800 689 1058 or by email

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