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    How do I make our financial settlement legally binding?

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    When a married couple have separated amicably and have been able to resolve financial issues between them, it is still crucially important to have a legally binding agreement. Janine Hutson from Harrison Drury’s divorce and family law team shares a typical scenario to explain why.

    “My ex-wife and I divorced in 2019. Things were amicable between us and we were able to agree how our assets should be divided when we separated. We divided our savings equally between us, our family home was transferred to my wife’s sole name and I kept my pension.

    “We were both happy with this and there have been no issues since. Is it necessary for us to record the agreement we reached in writing, to make sure that there can be no disputes about this in the future?”

    To ensure that the agreement reached amicably between you and your former wife is legally binding, and to prevent any future disputes or issues, it will be crucial to have your agreement recorded in an order of the court. These orders are Financial Remedy Orders, or you may see them referred to as Consent Orders.

    When a married couple has separated amicably and have been able to resolve financial issues between them it is still crucially important to have a Financial Remedy Order to record this agreement.

    The reason for this is until you have this document approved by the court all potential financial claims arising from your marriage remain available to be pursued in future.

    In your case this means your former wife could make, for example, a claim against your pension. You could decide to seek an Order for a Sale of her home, and a share of the proceeds from the sale. Either one of you could also seek spousal maintenance payments, or cash lump sums. This will remain the case even years after your divorce if you do not enter into a Financial Remedy Order.

    If you or your former wife received an inheritance, or a lottery win, without a Financial Remedy Order your former spouse can make a claim. This is not to say their claim would necessarily be successful, it would depend on the unique circumstances of your case, but your former spouse could make the claim which would need to be dealt with by the Family Court, with the associated legal costs.

    If you and your former wife agree to enter into a Financial Remedy Order to record the agreement reached when you separated, then this would be a very straightforward process which would give you both the certainty of knowing that your financial agreement is legally binding.

    It will also prevent you from claiming against each other’s estates after your death. It is crucial to enter into a Financial Remedy Order, and to have it approved by the court, to prevent future claims or disputes.

    It is vitally important that any financial agreement between to you and your ex-spouse is legally binding. To discuss this in more detail or any other matter regarding your divorce, please contact Harrison Drury’s divorce and family law team on 01772 258321.


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