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Delay Delay Delay...

Quite often what a new client faced with a family lawyer wants is to as quickly as possible get a letter out to their recently separated spouse and a Petition for Divorce issued.  It may be in the party’s view no pressing need to deal with financial matters.  There may be no assets or the other party is not pressing for a sale of the family home or indeed the parties may at this stage be relatively financially independent.

However, without a Clean Break Order, possible to be made by the Court following Decree Nisi of Divorce which takes effect upon decree Absolute there remains scope for uncertainty in the future. 

Recent Supreme Court decision and earlier decisions of the senior Courts confirm this uncertainty.

There is no limitation period or a legal reason preventing someone from pursuing an application for financial orders long after separation.  Whilst the strength of a claim may diminish as the years pass it is not possible to strike out an application made to the Court.  The Court will not give Summary Judgement as it is always under a duty to consider a claim in full and that there be appropriate disclosure of finances.

There may be a valid reason for the delay or continued joint ownership of a business of other assets.  The fact that there were young children at the time of separation may justify a delay.

One party may no longer be financially independent having spent or lost the majority of their money and can seek to replenish their capital and income resources from the other party who may have retained their financial position of improved it.

True finality of litigation between parties is best not left to implication of various legal authorities by being merely set out in a Clean Break Financial Order (of course a Clean Break Order imposed by the Court or lodged at Court with the consent of the parties relies upon informed decision as to consent of the Judge that is to say  the rules of the Family Court have been followed and there is full and frank disclosure.  The Civil Court principles also apply in that there should be an absence of fraud before the Court in securing the other party’s consent and any other factors relevant in obtaining that consent which is mistake, duress or misrepresentation.  To ensure true finality in litigation it is therefore recommended you would benefit from a specialist family solicitor). 

We offer all potential clients a free, initial, no obligation appointment to see if we can help.  Contact us by using the Contact Us form on our website or by phoning 0800 083 0815.