The pros and cons of applying for decree absolute before having a final financial order

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When it comes to the decree absolute, solicitors tend to advise clients not to apply for it until all the finances have been settled and the consent order has been approved by the court. There are often good reasons for this, but it is one of those scenarios where, if it is analysed in detail and if the client is aware of the risks then the case for waiting to apply for decree absolute may disappear.

Practically speaking, if one party obtains a decree absolute and then remarries he/she may lose some or all of their rights in any subsequent attempt to claim from their former spouse. So, whatever else happens, clients should not remarry (at least not without careful thought!) until a financial settlement has been finalised by way of a sealed order of the court and having allowed time for an appeal and service of an appeal to elapse – in reality another 28 days.

The next consideration is those rare situations where one of the spouses dies unexpectedly in the middle of the financial negotiations. In that situation, if there is no decree absolute then the surviving spouse will be entitled to all of the benefits that accrue to their status as a widow/widower. In many cases this can be very substantial, and sometimes far more than may have been available to the deceased in life. This can provide a strong incentive to family law solicitors to advise a delay in applying for the decree absolute.

Further, there are some circumstances where particular assets, for example trust funds, pension funds and other complex assets, cannot be transferred except to a spouse, and so in those circumstances it would again be prudent to delay decree absolute.

There are some situations where transferring assets between spouses is an integral part of a financial settlement. The transfer of assets may attract tax charges (particularly Capital Gains Tax and SDLT, but there may be other tax considerations depending upon many other factors); the UK tax regime tends to exempt transfers between husband and wife from most tax charges, so again there is a good reason to stay married if any such transfer is part of the potential landscape of settlement (although in fact there may be specific exemptions that apply to married couples? – even so, many lawyers may find it preferable to have two layers of protection rather than one).

Our advice, when advising clients on divorce and financial settlements, is always tailored to our clients’ individual circumstances. We also present clients with options, whether mediation or the collaborative law process, to assist separating couples in reaching an agreeable outcome without the involvement of the court.

127 responses on “The pros and cons of applying for decree absolute before having a final financial order

  1. Hi, My x wife applied for a divorce and pushed through the decree absolute before doing a financial settlement. 4 years down the line she is threatening to do the financial settlement and Im not sure what this means to me. I have always paid child maintenance and continue to do so and have paid half the mortgage as we agreed to just split it 50/50 when my youngest becomes 18 (he is currently 11). We did not split pensions and had no savings. Do I need to see a solicitor or wait for her to start the process she is threatening?

    1. Dear Sean Thank you for your interesting comment, which raises a number of points. Before being able to advise, I really would like to know what your individual and joint assets were at the time of the divorce/separation; what your circumstances – and the circumstances of your ex-wife – are now; and whether either of you has remarried. So yes, the short answer to your question is you should see a solicitor so that you can have advice based upon the facts in your case. I or my colleagues would be pleased to help.

    2. What are the implications of not doing a financial order officially, but just agreeing between the two parties without involving a solicitor/court?

    3. My ex is divorcing me ,even though I was mentally abused for years ,now he?s playing victim .we are at the stage for the decree absolute,the martial home is sold the finances we have is from the house sale.i have offered him a 50% share with a clean break order ,we have a child who resides with me I?m still happy to go with 50% .my ex isn?t responding to my offer ,I don?t know what else to do now as I have been more than fair ,it?s not good enough for him .being nice as got me no where

  2. I am divorcing, my husband left me. I had inherited my house from my father, have a mortgage on this as I bought out my brothers share. My husband contributed nothing during the entirety of our short marriage. He was a student and borrowed money (?18k plus ?3k for a car )for a Phd which he refuses to repay. He obtains his first full time position on a friday and leaves me Saturday, There is child and my husband was full time carer for just 5 months because I was forced back to work to bring an income into the household. He is now suing me for 50% of the equity accrued between the day he moved in and the day he moved out. Plus he wants to go for my NHS pension of 18 years. I paid everything during the 5 years right down to his cell phone spending and toothbrush. Unbeknown to me he had been earning decent money during the last year of the marriage but failed to disclose this, still taking from me. I have now found out after financial disclosure he probably was seeing somebody else. He also has taken money from his father who is on 100% benefits to fight me in court. This sticks in m craw as immoral, nobody on benefits should have money enough to give away in the thousands, and to fight me in court with. He now is applying for a financial order to court and intends to sign off on Form A with the MAM mediator. It took him 9 weeks to respond to my offer during which time he has seen a barrister he is giving me ten days to respond I cannot get an appointment with a barrister until 18th because of the Christmas period. All of this is contrived by him, he has lied and cheated and basically used me as a bank, during the marriage he was a psychological bully, but insisted I divorced on irretrievable breakdown I tried playing nice and look where it has got me ANY and EVERY bit of help will be welcome he shouldn’t get away with this.He will have had every penny of my father’s inheritance if he wins.

    1. Christine, thank you for your interesting comment. I was sorry to read of your difficult circumstances. You mentioned that this was a short marriage, and that there is a child. In those circumstances the courts tend to protect the interests of the mother and child, but every single case depends upon its own unique factors and circumstances. I would recommend that you make an appointment to see me or any of my colleagues in the Brighton office, so that we can take full details and give full advice.

  3. Hi, my wife left me after only a 1yr of marriage & a previous 1.5yrs of cohabitation. During that time we lived in my flat, which I owned for 8yrs before she moved in. Am I right in thinking that, as it was legally a short marriage, she would only be entitled to half of the equity that my flat accrued during the time that she lived there and contributed towards the mortgage (especially as it is an interest only mortgage)? Further to that, during the time that we were married, she bought a house with her Mother that she has now moved into. Given that there are no children, she owns her own home (plus a considerable amount of equity) & has her own career whilst neither of us has a pension or notable savings, would this reduce her claim on my flat?

    1. Hi David. Thank you for your email and your interesting description of your marriage. As you say, the main feature is that it seems quite short and there seems to be considerable scope for reducing your wife’s claims to little or nothing (possibly even the hint of a reverse claim against her). As with all these things, the detail is important and the best way to approach it would be to arrange a meeting with myself or one of my colleagues so that we can take full details and give preliminary advice. I would be very pleased to hear from you.

  4. Hi,

    My wife and separated in November 2016 and agreed the financial split mutually and amicably then. We had sold the family home already and simply separated the cash and agreed that I would retain the liabilities; taht I still have although have been paying them down.

    The DA came through in Sept 17 so we are legally divorced

    I am concerned that no Consent Order is in place. My salary has already increased since the separation, and my ex-wife has ‘spent’ the funds that she took from the marriage.

    I’m concerned that over time my financial situation will improve and hers won’t but I am not protected against future claims from her.

    The financial agreement was 32%/68% in her favour. I saved my cash and recently used it as a deposit for a new property, she has spent (not invested) hers. Will the court consider this or is it based solely on assets and liabilities at the time of the Consent Order application?

    1. Thank you for your comment setting out your interesting situation. Your fears are justified. It is possible that the court will reinterpret the agreement that you have had and which you have already put in place, so that your ex-wife has another attempt at settlement, again in her favour. Whether this is likely depends on quite a number of factors. However, it is generally helpful to go to the court sooner rather than later to obtain a final order. I feel the short answer is to investigate whether to make an application now for a financial settlement. I will be pleased to help if you would like to contact me directly.

  5. My ex wife and I were married for 16 years and bought a property in Dec 2012. In Dec 2013 she admitted to committing adultery and left the property as well as our children with me. We divorced in October 2014. From the moment she left the property she did not ever make a payment towards the mortgage or maintenance of our daughter. Her name is still on the mortgage and she is now demanding that it is removed. is she entitled to anything from this. I am trying to remortgage the property to remover name but we had a help to buy loan too. In order to go through with the remortgage my ex wife is refusing to sign the TR1 until I sign a Consent Order form. How much is this likely to cost? She has already dragged her heels over it all and now its 3 months since the valuation so it has expired and a new one must be done in order to remove her – she refuses to pay for any of it and wants to force me to sell it and give her half the profits – can she do this?

    1. Dear Alan, thank you for your comment. There is a lot of background information that we would need to gather from you regarding this situation before we can advise and this is not the forum to give you specific advice. However, I would be happy to discuss this with you over the telephone or in a meeting if you wish to contact me directly.

  6. Back in 2013 I asked my husband to leave. We had been married for 26 years, we had not been getting on, he had lost two jobs, dragged the kids and me around the world. When we finally got back to the UK our home in Cornwall was rented out. So we moved closer to family in Surrey. My husband had a really well paid job but lost it when he came home he sat around drinking not thinking of the girls and me. It’s when I asked him to leave, I couldn’t bare the stress anymore or the lack of love or the hate coming from him. He move hundreds of miles away. Leaving me to look after our teenagers alone with no imput and homeless going to a foodbank! . Finally the council helped with money a first time i had to do this in my life. I was gutted and ashame i also had to find a home and move alone. It was a shock to us all. The strained started to show and the unhappiness until finally one of my girls did something silly but my husband never came to see her. Not once did he ever come down to them. I was always trying to get them to go and I even paid. I am disabled and work parttime as well as have less money than him but funded the girls until one left home. The other lives with me and helps me but she hasn’t a job so I’m funding her although she is 20. I use to get rent from the house but with all the overheads some months it was barely anything. My husband paid my half of the mortgage though. Anyway we sold the house agreed to do 50/50 against advice but I was trying to be fair because all my husbands debt was more than mine and if he had 40/60 then it wouldn’t have covered it. However, I was going to be putting a claim against his Army pension as I was with him 21 years out of 22. So three years after he left we sell the house I start the divorce now I had a bit of money but I had to clear my own debt buy things to improve my physical life. The papers got sent to my husband but he igmores them, they get sent again, again he ignores them the third time two weeks after I send him an email he finally answers only to say he never received them and that his solicitor was away. In the mean time it’s costing me a fortune! A fortune I don’t have. The house money is gone as it wasn’t much to begin with. Everything seem to be going okay after, it was dragging a bit then my solicitor changed and my condition got worse. The new solicitor took over but he put everything on hold although we were close to completing the financial settlement. When the solicitor finally felt he could deal with me he said I had to start the financial settlement all over again by this time the cost of the solicitors had risen even more! You could my new solicitor didn’t want the job and dragged his heals charging me for letters when I asked him only to email brief answers to my questions not long winded letters but he ignored me. Until he announced my husband had sacked his solicitor and wasn’t reSpondon to any correspondence. My husband was due to pay my half of the divorce which was agreed but my solicitor was going to use this to go forward for the financial settlement although I had already paid another ?650 towards it, my solicitor said he couldn’t do any more unless he had more money on the account. He said to wait for a few weeks for my husband to get in touch and to pay the money. This didn’t happen. I arranged to see my solicitor who insisted on a meeting only to be told we needed to go to court although I have the decree nici I need to complete the financial settlement in court…. I have no money left…. the solicitor then says it will cost me between ?7,000 – ?10,000 although I was told my divorce was going to cost me ?1,500 but I’ve paid ?2950 already towards it! I am now in limbo! Completely stuck as what to do! I can’t get legal aid. I’ve no money until my husband pays up. He refuses to talk to me. He has moved into a house with his girlfriend who is lovely but he is better off than I am.
    It took me two weeks of emotionally calming down before I wrote a letter of complaint to the solicitor and his partners. I am waiting now to hear from them but that doesn’t help me now. I don’t have the confidence to do this alone and I have no one in the position to help me with money.
    What do you suggest?

    1. Dear Helen. Thank you for your comment and for all of the information. My approach would be to get back to basics and see precisely where you are in the context of a financial settlement. I would then isolate what further steps are required and try to give you cost estimates for each of them, so that we could embark upon them one at a time, and help you to keep within budget. The aim would be to get to a financial agreement with your husband as soon as possible. If you are interested in taking this further please contact me directly and I would be happy to assist you.

  7. I threw my husband out in November 16 after finding out he was cheating. We were only married in November 15 so not even a year. We split the bills and the mortgage payments 50/50 while living together but he is coming after my house now saying that he paid for the mortgage and thinks he is entitled to ?50K. We lived together for 4 years before getting married. He has also left me in ?30K of debt from our wedding and honeymoon which i paid for on credit cards as we were due to move home and were going to consolidate the debts with the new mortgage (stupid i know now!) No Prenup obviously as i trusted the arse. He knew all this but went ahead and put a Home Rights Notice on my property so i cant even re mortgage to cover the debts. I have been granted the decree nisi finally after a year of legal battles and fees as he has simply refused to respond to anything the court sent him. I want the decree absolute ASAP so can get on with my life and get the HRN removed but am concerned about waiting to agree on the the financial settlement afterwards. I purchased my house in 2008 with 3/4 from inheritance from my parents death. he didnt pay the mortgage, we split everything plus he had a free wedding and honeymoon. Thankfully we have no children but have 5 rescue animals which he has not contributed to either. He came to me with nothing, debts from a previous relationship and a couple of black bags. he has left with his own successful business, a good credit score and left me needing counselling and working with step change. My priority is to get the HRN removed. I have requested this time and time again but he simply has either refused or not responded. His work pension has already been split 50/50 with his first wife. he lied about his morals, values and past relationships. Basically our whole relationship was a fabrication of him pretending to be someone he is not. Reading from the comments above this page i feel for everyone in the same boat as me. This law needs to change. It is so unfair. The reasons for the dissolution of the marriage should have an impact on the financial settlement.

    1. Dear Helen. Thank you for your email. Yours is an interesting situation, and I am sure that there is a lot within the detail, which I would like to check and have a complete picture. However, in some circumstances the courts do not include inherited assets within the matrimonial fund, and that could be helpful in your situation. I think the easiest thing would be to make an appointment so that I can go through everything with you, and then give you more detailed advice. Please let me know if you would like to follow this up.

  8. What happens in the instance where the Decree Absolute is granted but financial relief was not yet determined. I filed a Notice of Ancillary Relief after we got the Decree Nisi, but due to the abuse and threats on my life, I then moved to apply for the Decree Absolute. My Notice for Ancillary Relief pre-dated the Absolute but we never got around to dealing with it because some creditors had placed his business in Receivership to find his hidden assets and we were waiting on the Receiver’s report. My husband died 1 week after the receiver presented their report to the court disclosing all of his assets. Can I still seek my Ancillary relief from my husband’s estate?

    1. Thank you for your email. The short answer is yes, there does not appear to be any reason not to proceed against the estate of your deceased husband, but it is an unusual situation and one that would require specialist advice and assistance. It appears to me that you may have to apply under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, which does impose some strict time limits, so time could be essential. I would strongly recommend that you seek advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist please do get in touch.

  9. Hi
    Me and my wife split up in 2016. Since then I have applies for a divorce. I am able to apply for the decree absolute on Wednesday. However we haven’t yet come to any financial agreement as my solicitor has been waiting over a year since my ex wife was asked for her financial details. There are no pensions involved or savings just a joint home that she currently resides in. I pay monthly payments to her for the.mortgage and the children however I would willingly sign any equity in the property over to her. Am I legally able to apply for divorce absolute before the financials are settled as I know she will not be in any rush to sort this out.

    1. Dear Steve. Thank you for your post. Yes, you are indeed able to apply for the Decree Absolute before there is a financial settlement, but for numerous reasons it is always best to check that you will not be disadvantaged by applying for the Decree Absolute at this stage. This would depend upon your unique circumstances, and I would be happy to run through the scenario with you. If I can assist you please do not hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to assist.

  10. My ex husband has sent the divorce papers through for me to sign, we are separated over 2 years and have sold the family home. I was slightly concerned on his papers he has ticked to get a financial order for himself and the kids – would this be recommended that I get one too. I do not have anything he can take but I know that things can change – so would you advise I do this too?

    1. It is not uncommon – in fact it is quite normal – for the petitioner to tick that box, and it simply means that he expects to make the appropriate application for a financial settlement in due course. This may be preceded by negotiations, or even better by some helpful process such as Mediation or Collaborative Law. If I can assist you, please do not hesitate to contact me and I would happy to assist on a formal basis. Many thanks.

  11. Hi, I am halfway through my divorce, solicitors on both sides have made mistakes which have cost me money and time. I received my consent order today 4/7/18 which was signed and sealed by the judge on the 22/5/18, my solicitor claimed he only received it on the 3/7/18 then advised me I now only have 6 weeks to transfer the properties over as per the order. I?m not sure this is enough time, he has also said he has applied for the absolute today, what?s happens if consent order isn?t implemented by the 21/8/18 and the absolute is granted, I?m really panicking.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately many courts are experiencing delays in dealing with their administration at the current time and so it is not unusual for a consent order to be sealed on one day but not actually posted out for some time later. As you are already instructing solicitors we would suggest that you speak to your lawyer as soon as possible so that he/she can liaise with your spouse?s solicitors with regard to the timescales in relation to the decree absolute and any tax considerations.

  12. Hi, I have submitted a clean break consent order, no claims made on either side. Is this one of those situations where it makes no difference when the decree absolute is submitted relative to the financial order, because there are no claim rights to forfeit in the first place? Thanks.

    1. Dear Deirdre. Thank you for your comment. From the limited information provided, the situation certainly appears to be one of those where applying for the decree absolute should not be a problem, however before giving definitive advice (of which we cannot do in this forum) it is always sensible to check everything thoroughly, and I would therefore recommend that you seek advice. If I can assist you please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

    2. Hi my husband has applied for a divorce (married aug 16 cohabiting since feb 14 left June 19) but we have not reached a financial agreement. He has a large amount of equity in his house bought 6 months before we stated cohabiting And I have a small amount in mine which was purchased 10 years before we started cohabiting. He is refusing to even up the equity my solicitor says I?m entitled to. If the decree absolute is sought by him before a financial agreement is agreed will that go against me?

  13. Hello
    Can someone advise me please,
    My husband started divorce proceedings and we got to the decree nisi stage. neither of us really wanted to end the marriage so an absolute was never applied for. Are we still married or divorced?
    Its been nearly 6 years since I received the decree nisi.

    1. Thank you for your email. You are in an unusual position, but if no decree absolute has been applied for, then you are still married. If you would like to discuss this further please contact me and I would be pleased to help.

  14. My Husband and I separated (after 18 yrs of marriage + 2 children) 2 years ago. He was unfaithful. We had no assets, minimal pension.
    He was divorcing me and after filing, he put the divorce on hold. He put his company into liquidation and claims he has no money.
    He lives with his father and has a full time job with his brothers company.
    Children live with me and I pay for everything. He pays ?19.60 per week child maintenance (which I had to claim through CSA).
    He will inherit a lot of money, land and property (which is why he never wanted to buy a house).
    My solicitor advised to put the financial settlement on hold 2 years ago when his company went into liquidation.
    He has now resurrected the divorce and I have received Decree Nisi.
    What shall I do about the financial settlement? At present he has nothing but I am thinking that his parents will give him a house soon (hence the resurrection of the divorce).
    Will I loose all rights once decree Absolute is granted? I have already spent ?4,000 on divorce lawyers and do not have the money to spend any more to ask the question of my solicitor.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you for your comment. It is never easy to give a short and simple answer to scenarios such as yours which are potentially complex. It is certainly likely that pausing for a brief period of time such as two years could be a good solution to your problems, but it is difficult to say without having access to all of the background information.

      With regard to the decree nisi and the possibility of the decree absolute being granted, there are a number of approaches that you can take. One is to consider whether this is one of those occasions when you could ask the court to decline to grant a decree absolute until your financial position is more secure, and there is quite a lot of background legal material that you would need to take into account for this. Again, it is difficult to say whether you would lose all rights once decree absolute is granted, since that would depend partly on your present circumstances and your intentions for the future.

      I am sorry if this is not a straightforward answer to your questions, but my suggestion would be to see whether your existing solicitors would be willing to give you some additional advice for a relatively low fee. Alternatively, if I or any of my colleagues could assist with an initial review of your case then please let me know.

  15. I am divorcing my husband after 20 years of marriage. I have substantially more than him but he has written a letter to state that he is onky interested in a 50% share of the property and none of my pension
    Will the judge still insist on him having half of my pension?

    1. It is not out of the question that the judge will agree to a sensible consent order giving half of the value of the property to your husband, with you retaining all of the pension, but it is difficult to say how likely this is without knowing the full background. For example, it is not clear whether your husband has any pension of his own, nor whether he has significant income and earning capacity when compared with your income and earning capacity. If there are other assets owned by either of you, or jointly, then that will also affect the position. So, having all of this information to hand is essential before your question could be answered.

      If you would like to arrange an initial appointment so that I could obtain the additional information from you and advise further, then please let me know.

  16. Our Nisi was granted about 18m ago (after 23 yr marriage) and we agreed to split everything 50-50. We have split all assets (house, investments etc) and the only outstanding matter is our pensions. I have a fairly large money purchase pot she has a teachers DB scheme. I totally disagree with the (smalll) CETV of her scheme so we disagree on the the amount my pension needs to transfer to her, so we are at a bit of a stalemate. She (as petitioner) has not yet applied for Absolute, stating that her solicitor says it?s best to sort pensions before doing the Absolute. Thing is she just says ?let the court decide? which I think is unfair to me as they may just simply use the CETV. She is happy to go to mediation but again I know she will just say ?I don?t know so let the court decide?. How can we move on and are the delays harming me at all? Should I apply for the Absolute? Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your email. As you will appreciate, I do not have the full background facts nor have I seen the CETV produced by your wife, and it would be sensible to have all that information (and to discuss with you why you disagree with the CETV she has produced) before giving any definitive advice. Having said that, my initial thought is that it would be relatively simple to get advice from an expert who is familiar with pensions in family proceedings and to ascertain from him/her whether there is any reason to be suspicious of that CETV. If I can assist you, please do contact me.

  17. Hello
    Can someone advise please. My husband and I separated in 2014 after 20years of marriage and he subsequently applied for a divorce. I did not contest this and received the DN followed by the DA in 2016. I left our rented property and moved into a small house with my 18 year old son, ( our other son is 24 and lives in his own flat) It was agreed between us via email that he would pay my health insurance and a small monthly some of money until our son turned 21, this never really transpired and once I moved in with my boyfriend he stopped any payments completely.. I left the marriage with nothing other than debt. He is now living with someone and clearly his financial status has changed as he has football season tickets, golf membership and numerous holidays, although I am sure these are all in other peoples names. He also has a new business but I noticed he was MD and then resigned and his father is now the MD although I know this is fabricated. I have not signed anything
    with regards to a clean break or financial settlement, and although I put a large amount of money into our home back in 1993 when we sold it I only received a minimum amount and he took the rest to put into his business that no longer exists. Can I still somehow apply for a financial settlement by way of a clean break and how do I go about this, I currently work 6 days a week and have no savings, pensions or anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Of course, we can advise on situations such as the one you describe, but my first concern would be to establish whether your ex-husband is likely to have any assets in his own name, since if he does not you will then need to give thought to whether it is practical and economical to try and prove that he has hidden assets or income. The bottom line is if he is worthless (or he has successfully made himself appear worthless) then it would be sensible not to spend a great deal of time or money trying to chase him.

      If you would like me or my colleagues to assist further please let me know, and we can arrange an initial appointment.

  18. One of my friend separated from her husband for 2 and half years, as he lives in India , she applied for
    decree nisi more than three months in UK still haven’t heard anything from court, none of them have any assets or children. Her solicitor told her nothing he can do as it intentional case.
    Any advice please. Your advice will help. Thank you.

  19. Hello
    I?m divorcing and decree nici was pronounced 2 weeks ago . Can apply ( after 6 weeks and 1 day of course ) for decree absolute without dividing assets ? My solicitor asked me to do so but I?m in doubt and think it would delay my divorce . My ex is a nasty piece of work and our communication is poor . I just want to be free and don?t care much about assets .

  20. Hi I would really appreciate some help and advice regarding a final financial settlement. following my divorce. He’s a few details to help explain…
    I amicably separated from my wife in Feb 2011.
    We split our savings and endowments 50/50 at that time. During our marriage I had mostly been the sole earner and when she was working, I was always the higher earner. As such I voluntarily continued paying the mortgage and all bills up until the end of 2014 when our youngest child left for university (to keep disruption to a minimum for our children).
    By the end of 2014 I had paid off all of the mortgage bar a very small amount.
    I filed for a no fault divorce based on the length our separation. Our decree absolute was granted in June of 2016 and there was no consent order. Neither of us involved a solicitor and our arrangements were entirely amicable.
    We continued to jointly own the family home when in 2015 she expressed an interest in buying my share. At that point she couldn?t afford to buy 50%. We discussed an ? amount that was equal to approx. 40/60 split in her favour on the basis that she would make no claim on my pension. She did not proceed with this and we still jointly own the property.
    My ex-wife remarried in 2016. I remarried this year.
    I?d now like to leave rented accommodation and buy a home but I have no chance of doing this until I free up the cash by selling my share of the house. We have started the discussion of a buy-out again but she?s keen to stick to the same ? amount based on the 40/60 we originally discussed. However the property has increased 25% in value and her new husband has a snr role in education with pay and pension in excess of my own. This seems pretty unfair.
    So my questions are:
    Would any settlement we agree now take into account our new marital status and what would it include (i.e. pensions, savings; debts, property etc of our respective spouses ) or does it reflect our status when we divorced? I cant say that my new wife and her new husband will be pleased with that prospect of financial disclosure!
    Can my earlier financial contributions be taken into account (rent and mortgage between 2011-2014)?
    And should / can I get a consent order now?
    It?s been amicable thus far but my goodwill is being tested. I?m keen to know what would be the best and smoothest route forward and appreciate any general steer you can provide.

    1. Dear Marc

      Thank you for your email and enquiry. It is a complex situation, but not one that is uncommon these days. I can reassure you by saying that a consent order is still possible and that an amicable solution seems realistic provided that everybody brings goodwill to the situation. Other than that, I would need a lot more information about the background, and I would suggest that we could best do that by a meeting.

      If you’d like to arrange to meet me or a colleague please let me know.

      Best regards

      Julian

  21. Hi

    After 18 years of marriage, my wife and I split. The agreement was to get a decree nici, get the financial order in place, then get the decree fini.

    I’ve just been shocked to find that she has applied for and received the decree fini – Prior to the financial order being signed by a judge.

    We have two properties and a parcel of land to divide amongst us (as per the financial order) – But now we’re legally divorced, presumably we won’t benefit from CGT exemption normally given to spouses?

    Regards

    Mark

    1. Thank you for your enquiry. I cannot advise on tax matters and recommend that you take independent tax advice.

      With regard to the remaining issues, a solution is possible but I will need more details in order to advise. Please contact me to arrange a meeting with myself for one of my colleagues.

  22. Need some advise my husband divorced his ex wife but 10 years down the line still own a house together. My husband is the respondent can he apply to court for a financial order? We have applied to court however being told that if she doesn?t turn up case will be dismissed as she was the original petitioner. Please help we are stuck

  23. Hi, my ex husband and I were granted decree nisi a few weeks ago. We have no children. We haven’t achieved a financial agreement yet. He is a higher earner and is offering a two year partial maintenance as I haven’t been working for the last couple of years and was working part time before that. We were married for 3 years and living together for 8 years. I’ve resumed working a few hours a week, but I’ve had inflammation in the joints of both of my hands for several weeks, which is affecting my ability to work. There is a chance of it being arthritis and further investigations are done by the doctors. What happens if my ex husband applies for a decree absolute before specific diagnosis is confirmed, do I still retain a right to claim maintenance if I’m unable to work for extended period of time? Thank you.

    1. Hi Tracey, thanks for your comment. Decree absolute would not usually impact on your ability to make a claim for maintenance, but it can have an impact on your ability to make claims against certain capital assets. It can also leave you vulnerable if your husband were to pass away before a financial settlement had been reached and made legally binding by the court. You should take advice on your particular circumstances from a specialist family lawyer.

  24. My nisi has been granted and financial forms signed. We were informed two of the same copied forms had to be signed too ( he signed one). when i informed my husband of this he refused to sign due to a work matter being pursued against him with my friend. He informed me he will agree and sign be other two if this was dropped in work. I got advice off a solicitor that the papers be subittrf anyway as he signed all 5 just not the two copies and that usually just two blank copies get sent. This was done. My husband emailed the courts saying we didn’t agree and can this be declined. I have email evidence that we did agree and he didn’t want this persued due to a work issue.how do I go about this? And now he’s trying to offer me less. I don’t understand how this can happen when he signed all papers? I have a son and we have been married 3 years. I have emailed the courts to see if they can put a hold on the absolute as he can apply by December.

    Any advice you can give please do I feel very low and desperate.

    1. You may have grounds to make an application for a ?notice to show to cause? which is essentially an application to court to seek for them to approve the financial order that has been submitted to the court on the basis a concluded agreement has been reached. Once the application has been issued the court will likely require you and your husband to file and serve statements; your husband will need to set out why he is going back on the agreement reached and in you will need to set out why the agreement should be upheld. You mention you have had solicitors involved, if so and they have overseen the process it should help to make any evidential requirements much easier to satisfy. Even if you can show a concluded agreement has been reached the court?s role is not simply to ?rubber stamp? it, the court will conduct an independent assessment to ensure it is within their discretion to approve. In the meantime you will need to make a formal application to court to request that the decree absolute not be granted until the financial settlement has been approved by the court. In order to provide you with specific advice the financial situation, terms of the agreement, paperwork submitted to the court and the overall circumstances of your case will need to be analysed. You should get advice from your solicitor, alternatively you can contact us or find details of solicitors local to you online.

  25. I have been served divorce papers from my husband but in have not signed them as he has said he doesn’t want a financial statement but he doesn’t want to make me a settlement offer either. He just keeps telling me I need to tell him how much I want… cab he get the divorce anyway if I don’t sign the papers??? I don’t want to be left with nothing..

  26. Hi, not sure you can help, or even if I have a leg to stand on. In 2015 my ex husband filed for divorce, and I signed a letter saying I would not chase up any financial settlement. I didn’t have a solicitor as I could not afford one. The decree absolut was finalised in 2015. For my stupidity of just wanting to be rid of him, I signed it, as again he was fronting the cost of the divorce. I am assuming, I will not be able to chase any financial settlement now?
    Thank you

  27. Me and my husband split up in 2016 no-ones fault, he filed for divorce after a month (pressurised by his mother) I was in no rush. We subsequently go back together in September 2017 but split up again in Jan/Feb 18. Will we need to start the whole legal process again for divorce if we needed too?

    1. Thanks for your comment Leanne. The answer to your question will depend on two factors. 1. The fact that your husband relied on in the petition (eg adultery, 2 years separation, unreasonable behaviour) and 2. exactly how long you reconciled for. You should seek advice on your specific circumstances from a specialist family lawyer to make sure you get this right. If I can assist please contact me.

  28. Hi
    Iv had my decree absolute stamped last week , now iv had a message from my ex saying she wants some money from me , please can you advise me ..
    We was together 13 years,no children together but I brought her two boys up , now full time working adults , we don?t own a house nor a car,( my car is on lease ) no savings , I haven?t took anything from the house other than my clothes , we acquired ?25k in debt in our time together which is in my name because x had bad credit , ( I?m continuing to pay ) she has a full time job and a good pension of her own which she had when we was together .
    I started a pension pot with a company before we got together, I changed jobs and it got frozen , then got a letter to say I could transfer it into shares or another pot .. ( I put it into shares ) this was when we was together . Iv got about ?10k in shares and also a reasonable pension , can she take half from me and also leave me paying all the debt

    1. Despite the fact that you are now divorced you will both be able to make financial claims against each other unless and until a Consent Order is drawn up which deals with the division of the matrimonial assets and ends your future claims against each other.

      Matrimonial assets include just about every kind of asset held either in your sole names or in joint names. It would include your shares and pensions, her pension and any other assets. They are all assets which make up the matrimonial pot and are potentially up for division.

      In the same way that marital assets must be considered so too must any debts. The debts and liabilities of each party are usually added up and then deducted from the total family assets.

      We are not able to give advice on this blog regarding your specific case but the general principles explaining how the court decides what a fair outcome is regarding the division of matrimonial assets can be found in our fact sheet here.

  29. I gave my son 75% shareholding of my company after I discovered by husbands infidelility and underhand dealing for 20yrs. My husband never had any shares in the company nor helped in any way to make it successful. My son was independant before my company took off and my husband was not looking after him nor supporting me effectively at home during the successful growth of my company. Can my son be forced to return his share by uk law to be part of my divorce financial settlement?

    1. Thank you for your question Rachael. The situation you describe raises a number of complex issues. Transferring assets to third parties without your husband?s consent either before or during divorce proceedings could potentially be viewed by the court as having been undertaken with the intent to deceive the court and/or your husband and as such the court may seek to reverse or ?vary? the transfer. It is important that you seek independent legal advice from an expert family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. If I can assist you please contact me.

  30. As a litigious person I did the divorce got the decree nisi , as an applicant need to file the absolute on 2nd December 2018, however the finance hearing is in March 2019 FDR nothing has been agreed so I do am not filing the absolute however the Respondent (husband) said will file the absolute in three months wants to marry his girlfriend they are engaged.. I have a son who is 20yrs Old living with me and my younger son 11yrs old under 18yrs and claiming for the full ownership of the FMH to be transferred to me and 45% share of the rented property which I want this to be sold, if agreed then will not claim the respondents inheritance which he will inherit in near future over half million pound and will claim spouse maintenance and will apply for a clean break . ,Now Q1. If respondent applies for Absolute but finance not sorted do I have to agree to it as I do not want to loose anything for the children?, Q2. Respondent not paying for the mortgage I am pulling this on my own for the FMH- what can I apply so he can pay 50%, Q3, my son is under 18yrs ,his father has no contact with him. I contacted the Advocate as I have no spare funds but sitting on assets x 2 only if we well then I have no capacity to go onto the property letter with the funds I have and have to leave and buy a home very far which will cause havoc from younger son whose school friends are all near to him. you advise would be appreciated.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I?m afraid we are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. However it is important that you seek independent legal advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as you have a number of important issues that need to be addressed.

  31. I have recently divorced and am awaiting for decree absolute. We have provisionally agreed with my ex that each person assumes assets and liabilities in their names and that we sell the house which is jointly owned by mortgage, pay off the mortgage and share any assets and liabilities 50:50. But we have not shared information in terms of what each have as we do not have much assets. But 1 thing that I am not quite sure if the pensions, how does get settled as I do not want to share my pension with him?

  32. In the process of applying for a Consent order, which won’t be ready to file until late January due to Christmas, however he can apply for the decree absolute before then. Are there any implications if the decree absolute goes through before the consent order does? A lot of websites say the consent order must be done before the decree absolute but I’m worried that he is going to apply for the absolute anyway even though I’ve said it would be best to wait until after the consent order has been processed through the court

    1. Thank you for your comment. It is usual practice to wait until the consent order has been sealed by the court before applying for the decree to be made absolute for a number of reasons including potential benefits under pensions and regarding the implementation of pension sharing orders. However, if your husband does decide to apply for Decree Absolute before a consent order is made then a consent order can still be presented to the court at a later date.

  33. Hi, a quick bit of advice would be appreciated here please.
    So my partner is about to start getting a divorce soon as they have been separated 5 years and he wanted to wait knowing she’d make things difficult. Anyway I mentioned to him that he needs to make sure he has a clean break order in place as we want to put him on the mortgage of my house and she can go whistle if she thinks she’ll get ANY of what we build together. They have three kids together and he also has a new baby with me. He doesn’t seem to think he needs one of these and it’s making us argue. I can’t force him but I want to know what chance she’d have of actually being able to get anything of what we build considering the kids, the fact she’s never worked a day in her life and manages to get all the benefits under the sun. Her house is paid for by the benefits system etc. I think they’ve been married for 12 years but separated for 5 of them. Also what happens if she refuses to sign? She’d then be aware of the clean break order which means she could then come after us for money later down the line. Is it safer to just not mention it? All she wants is half his army pension at the moment (as so far that is all he has to give) and he’s not contesting that). I just don’t want to get a joint mortgage with him build a nice little empire – which would be or safety net for all the kids – for her to the claim and waste on alcohol

    1. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, I am unable to give specific advice on here and without understanding more about your individual circumstances. However, I would strongly advise that your partner seeks advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. Unless and until your partner and his wife’s financial claims against each other are dismissed, his wife is able to make an application to the court pursuing claims against your partner and these claims are not time limited.

  34. My divorce was finalised last year without a financial agreement as my ex would not sign the consent order. This was after he agreed to one and got me to pay for it. my solicitor did not even get a reply. i still wanted the divorce so went ahead., last week i got a letter to say that a company he owes money to has put a charge on the house. i contacted him through his girlfriends messenger to try and push him to sort out the house which has a joint interest only mortgage and i have been paying myself for the last year. My solicitor said my only option was to take him to court but i do not have the 5-10 thousand for this and now i do not know where he lives as he has moved in with the girlfriend. We have a 13 year old child who lives with me and has no contact with him. i have looked in to applying to the court myself but can i do it if i dont have an address for him? i will also have to rehouse us and wouldnt be able to afford to if he got half.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Not knowing the current address of your ex-husband should not necessarily be a complete bar to you being able to progress matters. I am not able to offer specific advice though on this forum and without obtaining a significant amount of background information about your individual circumstances. From your comment it appears that you have a solicitor and therefore you should seek legal advice from them in the first instance about how you can go about issuing and dealing with the court proceedings yourself given the circumstances.

  35. I am currently going through a divorce and the Decree Nisi is due to be pronounced this week. I have been separated and living apart from my wife since 2012.
    I have no children under 18 and no property or assets to share with my wife other than my pension from an old job, so contributions ceased in 2012..

    My wife on response to the initial divoirce petition wrote on the form that she has requested a share of my pension. I’m actually in agreement with this – say up to 50%.

    I want to ensure that this is taken care of but also that my wife is not able to come back to me at a later date and demand anything else.

    I am cohabiting with my new partner whom I met several years after our split and at the moment dont have any plans to re-marry. I’m just not sure whether it would cause me a problem if I apply for the absolute as soon as I am able. I’d like to finalise my divorce as soon as able but just don’t want to be a horror story.

    1. Thank you for your comment. As explained in the blog, financial claims between you and your wife will remain open, even after the divorce, unless you take steps to get a legally binding order in place through the court finalising the claims you have over each other. If you and your wife are in agreement to the terms of the order then that can be written up into a Consent Order to be approved by the court. Once this has been approved and ?sealed?, it will become legally binding. When a Consent Order is applied for, all future claims against one another can be dismissed. Without this, there is the possibility that you or your wife may bring a claim against the other in the future. It is normal practice to wait until the Consent Order has been sealed before applying for the decree absolute because, should your wife die before then, you may be in a better position married than you would be if you were divorced. This is because, if your wife has made a Will, you would inherit part of her estate automatically. There may also be pension rights which would be lost upon pronouncement of the decree absolute. If we can assist you with a consent order, please contact us and we would be happy to assist.

  36. My decree Nisi has been pronounced and I am able to apply for DA in a few weeks time. I do not have joint assets with my ex but do have 2 children with her (custody not an issue and we share them amicably 50/50). I do however have my pension. I wish to apply for the Da as soon as I am able as I would like to finalise my divorce. there is no financial consent order in place as of yet however it is likely that an agreement will be made. Q.1) can I apply for DA before a consent order is finalised? Q.2) can I submit a consent order after the DA? (reason for asking this is that I am aware that the courts can take time in sealing a consent order and this will likely be after the date that I can apply for the DA)

    1. Thank you for comment. You would not be prohibited from applying for a Decree Absolute before the Consent Order is finalised nor would you be prohibited from lodging your Consent Application with the Court after the Decree Absolute has been pronounced. However, it is common practice to wait until any financial matters have been fully resolved by way of a Consent order, and that the Consent order has been sealed by the court, before making an application for decree absolute.

      You should also consider that if your spouse died before the financial arrangements are finalised, you may be better off being married at the time of death. This is because if they have not made a Will you would inherit a part of their estate automatically. There may also be pension rights or life policies which you would lose on Decree Absolute. I would strongly urge you to seek legal advice from a Resolution trained lawyer.

  37. Hi.
    I am going through divorce and decree nisi has been pronounced.
    We were married for 12 years. And no children. We had a house with joint mortgage. I was the main earner in the house therefore natuarally i paid most of the mortgage. There is around ?100k equity in the house. I moved out of the house and due to some pressure and stress i transfered my share of equity to my ex without any money consideration. This house was remortgaged by my ex and her brother. However, now i would like to claim my share of the house. Can i still claim that? Even though i transfered my share to her without any money? But there hasnt been any court orders re the clean break. My application for the financial claim has been filed in the court. If i remarry would that affect my financial claim on the house? And can she claim anything else after i re marry?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I think this is an issue where you will need to speak to a lawyer to understand the detail behind what has happened and to look at your options and the cost/benefit of any process. May we suggest you look at instructing a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  38. Hi looking for a little bit of clarity.

    My wife filed for divorce
    She then made application for AR using her petition case number.

    I then cross petition.

    My wife dismisses her petition and my petition is allowed to proceed to DN.

    I then have a 3 day financial trial still under my wife’s application and now dismissed case number. This gets abandoned by the Judge.

    I am now told that my next 3 day hearing should not proceed as no order can be made on the dismissed case number. The previous trial should also have not taken place.

    By my wife dismissing her petition, does this render her AR application also dismissed?

    Regards Paul

    1. Thank you for your comment regarding your situation. There would need to be an application to transfer proceedings to the relevant case number. I would recommend that you seek legal advice from an expert family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  39. I bought my house in 2002 my parents gave me a large ?10,000 deposit. I paid of my home in 2007.
    I started a relationship in 2014 and later got married we separated in 2017 and I?m waiting for decree absolute.
    I live in the house with my child and his. He never paid towards the remortgage I took out in 2015 but did pay towards bills and food.
    Stupidly I didn?t do a prenup agreement as it seemed unromantic.
    My husband owned a house with ex partner of 16 years they weren?t married, she wanted to sell up and he couldn?t by her out because of bad credit so they split the money.
    We have no financial agreement as yet what would he be entitled to realistically.
    I am 52 he is 40. I paid for my home with the money left to me by my parents.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, we would not be able to give specific advice using this forum and without understanding more about your individual circumstances. When exercising its discretion, a court would first look at meeting the needs of any children and both parties. You may find this factsheet helpful. We would recommend that you obtain some specialist legal advice from a lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If we can assist on a formal basis please do get in touch.

  40. Hi,
    I left our house and seperated with my ex wife in Nov 2012. We divorced in June 2018 and i re-married in june 2o18 (complicated).
    Co incidently she only when down the financial line after she found this out. We are going for an FDR in june this year. She has pleaded to be and plead to be rock bottom financialy through out all that time. My question is if she said things have and are that bad from a financial aspect could she have applied through the court on a financial settlement/agreement from me back then ? and not leave it 5/6 years later?

  41. Hi, I wonder if you could advise me on my matter.
    I got divorced in June 2017, married from Dec 2000. I have been working for my ex-husband on PAYE since Apr 2008 but was doing his paperwork and some accounting since 2000. I work from home as he registered his self-employed business here.
    We live in London and he wants to remain in our house and won’t leave. He wants to pay me off but I cannot find anything big enough for myself and my almost 18yo and 12yo girls for the money I would be able to afford. Due to schools I cannot move faraway (older one with epilepsy is statement and in school where they are more orientated on that and younger one just started grammar school).
    He owns few properties, 2 flats in RI and 3 flats in NI (he has found a buyer for those 3 flats) and I’ve just found out he bought a 3-bed house in Belfast.
    Our house is worth 420k, mortgage balance is ?79,208 (54,5k mortgage + 24k loan on mortgage he bough 1 flat in NI with)
    Our house is in our name but his flats in his name. We have a will and he made me beneficiary of his half but I made my kids.
    I was happy with just half of our house and move out but he hasn’t done anything about paying me out and still putting me through so much grief so I am thinking to get a half of everything I am entitled.
    Can you please tell me what I am still entitled after we divorced.
    I am thinking to do it all myself, how do I start, with mediation or do I have to file any forms first.
    Thank you.

  42. My wife asked me to leave the marital home in June 2017. I did so as we were not getting along due to her becoming a doctor, I no longer fit in with her new associates as I was the house husband and they had high flying partners. I ended up in my mother?s sofa and have been there for the last 18 months as I had no job due to the childcare I was providing for our children while my ex wife did her medical training. She applied for a divorce, which I actually wasn?t expecting , straight away. I could not get a solicitor as I had no funds and of course legal aid has gone unless for abuse. I let her have the divorce even though it was lies that she gave for the five reasons you need. She met and started a relationship in the July of 2017. She has bought a new car had numerous holidays with this person, she will not let me see the children at Christmas or any other event, though they have been to see me of their own accord. She also will not allow me to see our dog as she says it is not mine as she bought her. Now we have had our decree absolute and it is down to the financial order. I could not go to mediation as I have said lack of money, my mother gives me some for helping to look after my disabled father, but it is not enough for legal help. I am now to go to court but do not know what is required of me, they say I need to fill out forms but not which ones, also to provide proof of finances etc. I just don?t know what to do, do I send everything to the court like bank statements, can I put my side to the court re children and the dog, can I have my belongings from the marital home

  43. I have recently received the divorce petition from my husband. We separated 5 years ago and therefore have no joint finances or property to sort out. He has ticked that he is applying for a financial order, but as we don’t have anything to sort out, I don’t understand why he would need one. And, if that’s the case, do I need to apply for one myself? I am not sure if the financial order he is applying for will cover both of us.

    I have tried looking online, but it always relates to if you have joint finances.

  44. Hi Julian. I separated from my wife of 15 years in May 2016 after I committed adultery. We had been joint tenants in a council property when I left the family home and apart from pensions we had no assets to speak of. We have a 16 year old daughter together whom I have always paid child maintenance for. I signed over the house to her, taking my name off of the tenancy agreement when my new partner and I subsequently bought a home together in November 2017 for which we have a mortgage, I put no money into the deposit, all of this coming from my new partners divorce settlement. I left all jointly bought property at my former matrimonial home and we had no joint assets that needed splitting. I took on outstanding debts totally around ?6k which were joint debts but in my name. My decree absolute came through in July 2018 but my ex-wife, having initially indicating that she would not want to pursue a pension sharing order and thus make no financial claims against me, instead wanting to pursue a clean break order, has decided that she did not want to get the ball rolling with financial matters at this stage. I have approached the subject with her on numerous occasions recently but she is now refusing to engage with me over the matter in any way, only engaging in matters involving our daughter, who, much to my deep sadness, has as a result of parental alienation decided to cut me out of her life, for now at least. I appreciate that my ex wife may have a right to part of my pension, especially as she spent a year out of work to bring up our daughter. During the divorce process so far we have not involved solicitors. My concerns are that without a consent order in place she may have claim to any assets I may accrue with a new business venture I am involved with, and that she may look to make future claims against my new home. Would I be correct in saying that any financial assets I may now have post-divorce could not be claimed against some time down the line? And that only assets that formed part of the matrimonial pot (i.e. pensions) could be at risk? Her new partner moved in with her in July 2017, but I don?t know if without them being married that would have any bearing on the matter?

  45. My Ex filed for a divorce in 2015 and as to the time of this composition so far only a NISI has been agreed by the courts. Currently our solicitors are still negotiating the Decree Absolute… so now to fast forward to the year now 2019 if a member of my family passes would my ex be entitled to my inheritance as we’re still at the NISI stage and not Absolute stage.

  46. I received my decree absolute in April after 3 years of separation. My ex husband filed for the divorce after he was removed from the property for domestic violence and subsequently he got a restraining order.The issue is the house is in my ex husband’s name though i have been paying the mortgage since he left and i have matrimonial home rights and he has never paid child support or seen his 3 kids,I am filling the Finanacial Relief form as he wants to sell the property but i do not want to because i am a full time student and work 20hours,It is cheaper for me to stay here and pay the mortgage as i am unlikely to get a mortgage until i graduate and also i do not want to leave the area because the boys are settled and my youngest is 10 and oldest staers 6th d=form down the road in September,now he is claiming he put down all the deposit for the house and he wants it disposed of,he also increased the mortgagepayments without me knowing so the house could be repossessed as i was paying the usual amount not knowing but luckily i won that case but i am unable to talk to the lenders as he as told them not to speak to me but i just pay both the mortgage and the secured loan he took out on the property.I am now filling the FORM E and i dont know if my financial situation is a good or bad thing as i have limited income as a student and working part time

  47. Married 1996, and bought property jointly with my wife 2006. Divorced and obtain decree absolute 2018 without resolving financial settlement. sadly my ex died October 2018 without a will. Her solicitor applied for AR after her death. The AR was dismissed.
    Please what is the legal position of the property?

  48. We have had DN pronounced and Consent order has been filed to the court, because of vast delays/backlogs with the court am holding back on applying for DA until Consent order is sealed. Question is can we go ahead and instigate the financial agreement at this stage. Husband is keeping family home and buying me out, i now need the funds to purchase a property to live in but delays at court are holding the purchase up and i desperately don’t want to loose the property.

  49. My ex wife and I are not at decree nisi stage. She has now applied for a financial order. She had me sign over the house and that is now done and dusted. Is it necessary to have a financial settlement for the decree absolute to take place? My only asset was the house and she has had that already.

  50. Hi, we are divorced but have no financial consent order in place. If he will not agree to come to terms with me on one what are my next steps. Also is there anything I can do to stop him being entitled to any home equity from the date we divorced or not as he hasn’t paid a le ny towards the mortgage.

  51. I’m getting divorced and I wonder if I need a clean break content order. We have nothing to split, nothing at all and we are in good terms. So, in theory, we have nothing to worry about or to claim.

    However, what if I buy a house in a year time? Would she be able to claim for it ? or anything I get in the future, after the divorce being finalised?

    Note: We have already started the divorce process.

  52. I have applied for decree nisi. We have a house (in my name) but she is paying the mortgage (through my bank account( her payments)). We bought the house in 2011 and for 2 years I paid the mortgage. I started living separately from 2015 (paying a rent myself). My wife has a property abroad ( which was bought from our savings). how probably will the assets be divided and what procedure I have to follow?
    thanks
    Ram

  53. Hello,

    I am currently going through a divorce. Nisi has been read out in court. He can not apply for absolute until the 27th July. We discussed finances and agreed to an amount. He will keep the home and pay me a lump sum. He has had an official mortgage offer and his solicitor for the house has sent me documents to transfer the home to his name. The financial court order however has not been approved as of yet. His solicitor has told me he is willing to transfer earlier without waiting for this document. I have no solicitor at present as I closed my account with them as I did not want representing financially. Am I doing the right thing by refusing to sign the house over until the financial court order has been approved and I have proof? His solicitor also told me I can ring the court if I want to and see where it is up to.

  54. I have been divorced since 2015, due to DV but not managed to sort out the finances. I have tried several times to sort them out using solicitors with no success as my ex husband will not respond to any letters or calls made to him. He is ignoring any correspondence and I am now stuck in a joint mortgage unable to move on or plan my future as this needs sorting out. I have very limited funds and the solicitors have said court would be up to ?15k, which I do not have. Are there any other ways this can be solved?

  55. Hi
    My ex wife and I divorced amicably approximately 5 years ago with only a verbal financial agreement. I am now planning to re-marry and would like to make a legally binding agreement. My ex wife is still amicable and happy to go through the process, but i’m not sure what i need to do. From what i can see a consent order must be done prior to issue of DA (which was done 5 years ago) so what do i need to do?

  56. I received the decree nisi and the alloted time to wait before applying for the decree absolute has now arrived, me and my soon to be ex husband have no money together or any savings, just his car has both our names on the credit agreement. We have agreed how much child maintenance he will pay me on our own, and how often he will see our son, do I need to do a financial consent order even though we have no assets or can I wait until IF I get re married.

  57. Hi. I have my degree nisi and have been sent the D81 form as well as the financial consent order from my ex to be. What are the implications of ticking the intent to cohabit or remarry on the D81? If I tick no, do I need to let the court know should these circumstances change in the future? Thank you.

  58. Hi, married / cohabiting in total less than 5 years, no children and no joint assets.
    Only asset was mine and it was purchased 10 years pre marriage with family help.
    During marriage term, wife made no mortagage contributions and all of her debt prior to her meeting me was cleared at 50k. She left me when I was jobless commited adultary, desertion and is living with new partber. Should have been clean break but she lied on form E, fixed evidence and is coming after house against all advice. Mediator said this should not go to court but through threats and wanting this over, I agreed 8k settllement However was bullied into it. Already spent 12k in legal fees but have realised that if this does go to court, she risks prosecution based on form E smalll print. Also that reallly she owes me money as I retain her debt and lost my job again during this process.
    I have now applied for DA and will bring HMRC legal and the law soceity in if any financial rememfy claim is made and foul play continues. Any advice to get this shut down faster?

    1. Hi Mike
      Just wondered outcome of this. Same situation and he ?wants his day in court? with me rather than settle (which will cost less and move on. (He?s Arguing over 7k)

  59. Hi,
    My eligibility date to apply for Decree absolute was on 16 Aug but I have not done Consent order yet. To apply for consent order both parties has to discuss and sign the paper but my X right now is overseas with her mother. She is planning to stay there until Jul 2020. Reading a guidance leaflet in gov.co.uk, I?ve figured out that if application of DA gets delay for 12 months or longer then whoever applies for DA at that time have to write a judge giving reason to delay with a certain fine. I want to get this done soon as but she is won?t be here to discuss financial settlement and sign the consent order paper until Jul 2020. Can I apply DA now and do consent order later? How long long do I have, to apply for consent order after being eligible for DA?

  60. Hello Sir/Madam, I have a question about Decree Absolute,
    Actually I have a Financial order from court and court has given a deadline of 3 months to my husband to pay me my share and in that financial settlement order, court didn?t order me to apply for decree absolute before getting my share but my husband and his solicitor asking me to apply for decree absolute before I get paid. They are saying that THE ORDER DOES NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL DECREE ABSOLUTE IS PRONOUNCED.
    This make me worry because I doubt, if I apply decree absolute then there can be a risk of more delay or difficult for court to implement the court financial order. Please guid me because I can?t afford Soliciter any more.
    Many thanks,
    Regard,
    Aree

    1. Dear Aree
      Thanks for your post. Although we do not know the specifics of your case and assuming it relates to an order in England/Wales, under section 23 (5) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 it says “Without prejudice to the power to give a direction under section 30 below for the settlement of an instrument by conveyancing counsel, where an order is made under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) above on or after granting a decree of divorce or nullity of marriage, neither the order nor any settlement made in pursuance of the order shall take effect unless the decree has been made absolute”. In any event, if you did not apply for the absolute then there will come a point (and it may already apply) when your husband can apply for the Absolute even though you are the petitioner.
      If your decree nisi is more than 12 months old you will need permission to apply for the absolute.
      We hope this helps.

  61. I have a Decree Nisi. The judge has rejected our consent order based on my pension despite my wife and I agreeing on a large lump sum and no share of pension. We need to get the Decree Absolute urgently now in order for my wife to get a new passport for our daughter (both living in Thailand) to go on her school trip to Japan in 8 weeks. Can I apply for the Absolute now or do I have to wait for the consent order to be agreed?

    1. Thanks for your post. Provided you are the petitioner and 6 weeks and a day has passed since the decree nisi you can apply for the absolute (unless you have agreed not to do so in which case advice should be sought). If you are the respondent you can apply after c4.5 months from the nisi although the procedure is different and advice should be sought. There may be issues over protecting the pension pending the order being made from your wife?s perspective. The first thing to find out is what your wife?s view is. Financial circumstances may be such that it is preferable to wait for an order before applying for the absolute and these need to be considered given the timing issue you speak about. It would be sensible to get formal advice from a family law specialist as to what your options are and how best to proceed.

  62. I am divorced with the decree absolute suddenly arriving without my knowledge on my doormat in January 2017. The decree nisi had already been issued. I am the Respondent. My husband suddenly upped and left in 2015 and then took up with another woman. After getting the absolute he then married the second wife and they had a child. However, our finances have never been sorted out. We have 3 x properties both in our names and at the time of the absolute also shared a joint bank account which caused horrendous problems when I tried to shut it down as the bank said both parties had to be present. We have sorted this out, but nearly 5 years on still trying to sort out financial arrangements. I changed solicitor as I felt my previous solicitor did not represent my interests properly. Things are moving forwards and hoping to get an agreement stamped by the court. However, I would like to know how the court could authorise the decree absolute given that major assets were still in joint names with me still living in the marital home without me signing anything as it was not something I wanted to happen and also should or could my solicitor have prevented this happening?

  63. I own the family home (mortgage in my sole name), and moved out last year – my wife remained in the house with our son (married for 8 years). She staked a Matrimonial Homes Right. The Decree absolute has now come through. Am I now able to cancel the Matrimonial Homes Right and sell the house? Can she apply for an occupation order? I’m unsure of my rights now – I’ve offered her all of the equity in the property when we sell – she certainly cannot afford the mortgage on her own.

  64. My wife has filed for absolute 2 weeks before our first appointment and also said she can’t attend our first appointment because she is waiting for further information from me. Her pension is almost twice mine (22k difference) so has she done this to protect those assets?

    We exchanged Form E’s in February but I only asked about her pensions and said we may need to get the properly valued. It took her almost four months to provide me with some missing information. I on the other hand had more than a dozen questions and went back to then within 5 days. We’ve also exchanged fresh Form E’s in October as part of the finance order just going through the courts.

    She left the family home in March after I asked her to start contributing to the costs after I’d paid all the bills and mortgage for 6 years, she just purchased the food shopping. She also nets around 45% more income than I do but has shown its all spent in her expenditure.

    We have a buy 2 let that which after costs the two properties may net around 5k equity as the buy 2 let is in negative equity. I want to keep my home but can only just afford the main home on my wage, the buy 2 let is a massive problem if we have to sell it?

    She has a solicitor and I’m a litigant in person. We are 49 and 50. I also have a small ltd which I’m going to close as its worthless and not trading.

    What can I do to get a fair outcome if she has managed to protect her pension assets?

    I would be very grateful for any thoughts as this is really stressing me out.

  65. I was in a civil partnership for 7 years, we separated and the decree nisi was finalised Sept 2018.
    My ex has now submitted a financial order (form A) and I am wondering if there is anything I have to do.

    I am currently serving in the British Army, I have no property, mortgage etc, i do have a car on finance that she was using however I am now in the process of handing it back in. I was in a bit of debt while in the relationship that I have been paying off over the past year and now in a better financial position.

  66. my husband and i have been separated for 20yrs we both have new partners and both wish to remarry , he has a good final salary pension he has started to claim , if i dont go for a financial settlement now if we divorce can i apply at a later date after decree absolute.

  67. my husband and i have been separated for 20yrs been married 41yrs ,we both have new partners and both wish to remarry , he has a good final salary pension he has started to claim , if i dont go for a financial settlement now if we divorce can i apply at a later date after decree absolute.

  68. Hi. I have applied for a decree nisi and am about to proceed into negotiations around the financial split etc for my divorce. We own a house which is jointly mortgages. I want to buy my husband?s share of the house from him and either take over or pay off the mortgage. We are both currently still living in the family home as my husband does not have the finances to move out. Is there any reason I should not pay him out his share before the decree absolute is through? I want to be able to move on with my life which is difficult to do with him still in the house.

  69. Hi there,
    I am divorcing my wife and have had the decree nisi through. My wife has had a consent order drawn up, but I have a couple of questions about this. The consent order lays out a 3 week timescale for when the agreed financial/property transactions must take place, and I then must move out of the family home.
    My questions are: –

    i. when timescales are in a consent order, is the figure decided on by the solicitor and the client, or is there no control over this 3 week period chosen, from say my wife’s perspective when instructing her solicitor?

    ii. the 3 week period starts from the date of the order, but is this start date/date of the order the point at which the judge seals/agrees it, or is it at the point of decree absolute?

    My concern here is that if we have the consent order approved, I would then have only 3 weeks to find somewhere to live. I am looking of course, but this would form rather a binding deadline. It would be in my interests in that case to not apply for the consent order until I have begun the process of moving out, and have an idea of when that would be. It would take some careful timing to have this occur in time to enable the funds for a deposit on a house, but not so soon as for a house not to be ready.
    Kind regards.

  70. Hi i split up with my wife 4 months ago,my wife applied for a divorce and has been granted decree nisi so need to wait for the absolute now.i told my wife to stay in the family home and ill move into a flat.we have 3 children,youngest is 7.ive said stay in the house until youngest is 18 thrn sell the house.i paid every bill from day 1 as my wife only worked 8 hours a week for 8 years.ive said i want a financial order and she said why? Arent we splitting 50/50, but i need peace of mind for the future as things could change in the future and want alot more from the equity in the house.whats your thoughts?

  71. My ex-wife and myself received our DA in January 2020. We had agreed that we would get a clean break agreement which i paid for as part of the divorce package. The family home was split at the time of divorce, and split equally, and there were no other assets to speak of. I have transcripts of emails and messages where she agreed to take out the clean break agreement, but now i just cannot get her to sign it. Is there any way that i can now “force” one through.

  72. I am after some advice please.
    My husband and I are about to start divorce proceedings. It?s is pretty amicable, we want it done as soon as possible and have decided we will not split any assets. Instead we wish to go for a clean break order once we have the decree absolute. Do we still have to apply for a financial order if we are not splitting any assets? We definitely want the clean break order so that neither of us can claim from the other in the future.. can we apply for that if we haven?t got a financial order in place?

  73. Divorce was granted on Tuesday and we need to make a financial agreement. The house is in my name only and the ltd company we started together is in his name only. We have 4 children , 3 still dependant.
    He is trying to take a share of the house but after having the business valued is refusing to let me know it?s worth and says he has other shareholders so nothing to give me.
    I have discovered he has split the company Into 5 equal shares recently with 4 other band members so he no longer owns 100% but just 20% and Has made an appointment with the lads and accountant to ask them to go self employed from now on. How will this impact any settlement ?

  74. Me and my ex husband divorced after he had committed adultery with my friend, we were together for 20 years , we were married for 17 of them. We had ran a business together for 10 years. In our consent order the agreement which was approved by the judge, I agreed to give him my 50% share of our lucrative business. In return he was to give me his share of the home in which housed our four children and pay their school fees and maintenance. The day I signed over my rights to him, I never received a single penny, he also never paid the children’s school fees. I ended up selling the family home to pay for them myself. I took him to court a year later. The judge ordered him to pay back dated maintenance and money for the school fees. he paid neither, a CCJ was put against him. In the time frame 28 days the judge gave him to pay, he decided to put the business into voluntary insolvency. He runs the business with it being in his best friends name now. My ex husband has broken the agreement of our consent order. He has a large pension. Although it states in the consent order that neither of us can touch each others pension, that is the only asset on paper he has, everything else has been squirrelled away into his new girlfriends name or his best friends name. As he broke the consent order, am I entitled to go after his pension?

    1. Dear Marie. Thank you for your comment. You have clearly experienced an extremely difficult time and what appears to be endless litigation. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum and would need to know a lot more about the background, previous proceedings and review the original order itself. If there is a ?live? periodical payments order then there may be an option to apply to vary the order and apply for a pension sharing order. However, these issues are complex and as such it is important that you seek legal advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  75. Decree Absolute is due next week and we do not have any property, children, pension issues or even huge bank balances to share after divorce. I am the petitioner and we were married for 6 years.
    I will get married again after divorce. Do I still need to apply for a consent order? What will happen if I marry again and she claims for something form me? If I buy any property in future, will she be entitled to claim share from that property? Please advise.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes a financial order should be put in place in respect of your finances even if that is simply to say that neither of you have any claim against the other. Financial claims between spouses are not time limited and so if a financial order is not made then potentially your wife could make a claim at any time in the future. It is also important that you take steps to address this before you remarry otherwise you potentially may prejudice your position. I would strongly advise that you seek advice from a solicitor who is a member of Resolution and please get in contact if we can help on a more formal basis.

  76. Hi there, I was married between 2007-2015. Our shared asset was/is a house we purchased in 2008. My ex left me and our 2 children in 2013 when he stopped making contributions towards the mortgage of the house. He filed for divorce the year later. No financial aspect was considered during the divorce, although he has been making child maintenance payments the majority of the time since 2013. I want to understand what he would be entitled to should I wish to sell or should the unfortunate happen to me, should the unfortunate happen to him what does that mean for me (he has remarried and has a child). He has significant debt with letters still coming to my address, he has told me to ignore the letters and he will not provide me a forwarding address. Am I able to apply to have his name removed from the deeds. How would i begin any proceeding without knowing his address? Also to note that we had a significant joint loan which when he left he stopped making payments.

    1. Dear Sarah. Thank you for your comment. You have raised a number of very specific issues which, unfortunately, we are unable to advise on within this forum. We would certainly advise dealing with these matters sooner rather than later as you are in a vulnerable position. We strongly recommend seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  77. I am currently getting divorced and on the 27th April I can apply for the decree absolute. My wife is stalling at this stage saying that she is waiting on pension paperwork that will take 5 months to come through. We have both signed a heads of terms agreement, which says we are not liable to claim on any other assets. I have given her 120,000, her share of the house. She has recently found out the house has increased in value and now wants me to give the profit of the house to our children. Can she change the heads of terms that we have signed? is this why she could be stalling?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I would strongly suggest that you seek advice from a Family Lawyer who is a member of Resolution. Depending upon your circumstances you may be able to seek that your Wife is held to the agreement reached but this will be highly fact-specific. If we can assist on a formal basis then please let us know.

  78. I am in my last stage of the divorce , waiting for decree absolute, after having reached financial settlement with my ex. Our child will be 18 y.o next month and the maintenance payments are stopping, each of us will have half of the house value and pension sharing order 50% each. When I filled in the last form,the consent order, I indicated that I live with my new partner but ticked the box with no intention to remarry in the next six month. Since sending the paper work off my new partner has asked to marry me. Where do I stand if I remarry in the next six months after the divorce if I said on the form that I will not ? Will I cause myself unwanted complications ? Can this have any financial implication and ,can I be taken back to court by my ex ? It is a clean break divorce ,everything split fifty/fifty.

  79. Hello there. Can you help me? I was married from summer 2012 with my wife up until 2014 February when she decided to take my son and move on. I asked for an immediate divorce however she prolonged it to 2017 which a decree absolute happened. Whilst together in that time i opened a small business, however in 2014 i closed it after we separated and had a mental breakdown. There was no assetts for the company nor an accumulation of monies in the business bank. We did not even own a house together at all. Now i want to put shares in a new company, save and buy a house. There was no financial settlement or agreement at the time of decree absolute as there was nothing to declare. If i have shares in a new company or buy a house, is there still a risk she can claim if i buy a property or make a claim on my earnings (apart from child maintenance). Do i need a clean break order? If so which i think i did need, i told her and she is outright refusing to sign also always makes threats that she will claim a future house or any business i own. Can she do that? She has been in a relationship and cohabiting with her boyfriend since 2015. Buy she would lie about that if we ever went court. Pls advise if i need a ancillary releif order to sever any ties (apart from child maintenance).

    1. Thank you for comment. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide specific advice when replying to blog comments. Financial claims between couples who were married are not time limited and without a ‘clean break’ order you are vulnerable. However, that does not necessarily mean that your former wife would be successful in pursuing a financial claim against you as such claims are highly fact specific. I would suggest that you seek legal advice upon this from a Resolution specialist family lawyer.

  80. Hi I would really like some advice on my divorce as my solicitor is not really keen on my case. So its been 4 and half months since we got the decree nisi and we have no kids or any assets. I am on benefits and he is working full time. I do not want any financial help from him even though he had asked my solicitor to get me to sign the d81 form. However he has taken too long for the consent order its been a month since my solicitor heard from his solicitor. As the respondent can I apply for the decree absolute and get the financial order done after that as I want to get married soon. Please advise

    1. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide specific advice when replying to blog comments. It is possible for the Respondent to apply for Decree Absolute in the divorce but the process is not as straightforward as it would be if the Petitioner applied for this. Also, I note that you are asking whether you can apply for Decree Absolute and deal with the financial order later, this is something you should seek advice upon from your solicitor to ensure you do not prejudice your position and fall into the “remarriage trap”.

  81. I’m currently in the process of a financial order, but i am slowly losing faith in my solicitor. Last year i was forced out of the family home, by my wife’s with violence and death threats. I spoke to the police and they eventually took a statement and interviewed her under caution, but they decided not to prosecute her for the assault that put me in hospital. I tried to file a divorce petition, but was met with a counter claim from her solicitor. At which my solicitor said let her do it, thus making me the respondent. I tried to do mediation, but that fell through as the service couldn’t guarantee my safety. after that her solicitor refused to negotiate the finances and as such I was advised to file for financial order through the courts.
    She hasn’t really worked since we’ve been married, Ive paid for everything, i put down the deposit on the house, paid all the bills, did the cooking and cleaning, whist she watched TV all day. we never had children, so i cant see why this won’t be any more than a 50:50 split. Its 9 months on and i’m still having to pay the mortgage and the Gas and Electricity on the house that I have been advised not to go back to by the police.
    Despite all that my solicitor is now saying that she will walk away with house and a large proportion of my pension. I did ask about about appealing to the courts for the absolute, in the hope that would protect my pensions, but he didn’t seem to think so.
    I’m really at a loss and feel like i’m having to trust a solicitor that doesn’t appear to be on my side.

    1. Dear xx, thank you for getting in touch. We are not able to comment or advise on individual cases but would recommend, in circumstances where you are ‘losing faith’ in your solicitor that you seek a second opinion from a family law specialist who is a member of Resolution. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

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