Many individuals who have separated decide how to divide their financial assets between themselves. You may agree on how your home, other property and pension will be divided. This agreement is often agreed informally and sometimes, not even put in writing.
This agreement is then acted upon with property sold and the proceeds divided, or in some cases, the ownership of property is transferred.
Any such verbal or written agreement reached is not binding. Individuals are often surprised to discover that even when they are divorced, they may be entitled to make a financial claim against their former spouse and, more worryingly, their former spouse could make a claim against them.
The press has reported on stories where lottery winners have found their former spouse bringing a claim in the family courts, for a share of the lottery winnings.
While such lottery wins may be rare, in our work as family solicitors, we have seen many instances where former spouses attempt to make further financial claims against the other, despite sometimes having been divorced many years ago.
It is not uncommon for individuals to bring a claim against their former spouse’s property or pension. In many cases, these may have increased substantially in value since the time of the separation or divorce.
It is recommended to formalise any agreement reached and to protect your financial assets against future claims from a former spouse. In order to do this a Court order needs to be in place. If an agreement has been reached between you, and not imposed upon you by the Court, a document known as “Consent Application”, will need to be filed at Court. Once approved by the Court, this becomes a “Consent Order”.
It is always advisable to formalise any agreement reached by way of a Consent Order. Without one, you may, often unknowingly, leave yourself open to future financial claims, even after the divorce has been made final.
Our specialist family team have extensive experience in divorce and separation, please contact us to arrange a free consultation to discuss your situation.