How long does the Court retain the ability to make orders between a husband and wife after the marriage has ended?
Matrimonial law provides divorcing couples with the ability to make financial claims against each other. These claims are usually dealt with in a final Court Order approved by the Court as part of the divorce proceedings. This provides the couple with certainty for the future and removes the possibility of one of the parties coming back for a second bite at the cherry.
However, on occasion, couples don’t sort out a final financial agreement when they get divorced. This might be because they don’t think they want to make a claim on each other so they think they don’t need to do anything. At that point, they may not actually have much money to argue about! Sometimes, if relations are amicable at the point of the separation, the couple may trust each other to keep to their promise not to ask for any financial support in the future.
But these financial claims remain “live” and leave an ex-spouse able to change their mind and ask the Court to consider making an order in their favour, sometimes many years after the divorce concluded.
There’s no substitute for getting specialist legal advice on separation to ensure that there are no loose ends. A “clean break” order is the only way to achieve certainty. If you already have a final order, it’s crucial to check whether there are any ongoing obligations, such as maintenance, contained in it, which you might be able bring to an end now and minimise your future exposure to your former spouse.
The Family team at BPE Solicitors have a wealth of experience in advising couples on divorce and separation.
For more information contact our Family team on 01242 224433 or firstname.lastname@example.org
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.