Since the no-fault divorce laws were introduced in April 2022, more and more separating couples are opting to deal with divorce themselves via the online HMCTS divorce portal. However, there is often a misunderstanding that the divorce also deals with financial matters and the ability to bring a financial claim.
Couples need to be aware that securing a divorce alone only ends a marriage. Finalising financial matters is an entirely separate matter. This means that an increasing number of separating couples may not have adequately dealt with ending the financial claims that they have against each other by virtue of their marriage.
The finalisation of a divorce alone does not sever financial ties between a separating couple, it simply ends the legal relationship between them. This means that if no financial settlement has been reached and approved by the court by way of a consent order or an order imposed by the court, then their financial claims against each other remain open.
This leaves parties vulnerable if circumstances change in the future, even if they had every intention of adhering to any informal financial agreement reached. One party may make significant financial gains down the line, whilst the other may suffer from ill health and find themselves unable to work. Without a Financial Order setting out how finances are to be dealt with, there would be nothing to stop the party who finds themselves in a poor financial position, from making an application to the Court for financial provision against the other.
There is generally no time limit to making such a claim for financial provision. As such we would always recommend obtaining a financial consent order to prevent any future claims by your spouse.
Obtaining a financial consent order not only provides clarity but more importantly, it provides security and protection from any unexpected future financial claims once a divorce has been finalised.
If you would like to put a Financial Consent Order in place, please contact Clarkson, Wright & Jakes and our highly experienced Family team will guide you through the process.