What is a financial order? – Everything you need to know

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A financial order refers to a legal directive or decision issued by a court order that pertains to the division, allocation, or management of financial assets or obligations between parties involved in a legal dispute. It is typically part of family law proceedings, such as divorce or separation cases, where the court should resolve and ultimately approve financial matters.

It is important to remember that a decree nisi officiates the start of divorce proceedings and a decree absolute brings your marriage to an end, not your financial commitments to one another. Getting a financial order in place before your decree absolute is recommended.

A financial order can cover various aspects, including the division of marital property, allocation of debts, spousal maintenance or support, child support, and other financial arrangements. The order may specify the distribution of assets, set out the payment amounts and schedules, and outline any additional financial responsibilities or restrictions.

The purpose of a financial order is to provide a legally binding framework to ensure fair and equitable resolution of financial matters between the parties involved. It helps establish the financial rights and obligations of each party and may also include provisions for enforcement or modification in case of changing circumstances.

If you are in need of an experienced family law solicitor to assist you with applying for a financial order, then please get in touch with Expert Family Law today. We can put you in touch with a legal professional that is the most appropriate for your case.

What are the types of financial order?

Consent order

A financial consent order is a legal document that records an agreement reached between parties involved in a legal dispute. It is typically used in family law cases, such as divorce or separation proceedings, to formalise the terms of the agreement regarding financial matters, property division, child custody, and other related issues.

A consent order is different from a court-imposed order as it is based on the mutual agreement and consent of the parties involved. It reflects the parties’ willingness to resolve their differences without the need for a court trial or judgment.

It is recommended to consult with a legal professional to ensure that the consent order accurately reflects the intentions and rights of all parties involved.

Clean break consent order

A clean break order, also known as a clean break agreement, is a specific type of financial order in divorce cases. It is a legally binding agreement between the parties involved that aims to sever financial ties and obligations between them following the divorce. The purpose of a clean break order is to provide a clean break, both financially and legally, enabling each party to move forward independently without ongoing financial entanglement.

Lump sum order

A lump sum order in a divorce refers to a specific type of financial order issued by a court, which requires one spouse to make a one-time payment to the other spouse as part of the financial settlement. It is a predetermined fixed amount of money paid in a lump sum rather than through periodic installments or ongoing financial support.

Pension sharing order

A pension sharing order is a type of financial order issued by a court in divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership proceedings. It deals with the division of pension benefits between the parties involved. Specifically, it allows for the transfer of a portion of one party’s pension rights to the other party, ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of pension assets.

Why is a financial order important?

A financial order provides structure, clarity, and protection for both parties involved in a divorce. It ensures a fair and just resolution of financial matters, promotes financial stability and helps parties move forward independently.

An order can effectively outline the division of assets during a divorce, such as the family home payments and child maintenance, as well as the allocation of debts, such as mortgages and loans. As the order is legally binding, it can also ensure financial security for those involved, as it can be enforced through legal processes if one party is not complying with it later down the line.

What happens if you do not have a financial order?

If you do not have an order in place, it can leave your financial matters unresolved and can potentially lead to various complications or disputes. Here are some potential consequences of not having one:

  • Uncertainty and Disputes: Without a financial order, there may be uncertainty regarding the division of assets, allocation of debts, and financial responsibilities. This can lead to disagreements and disputes between the parties involved, prolonging the resolution of financial matters.
  • Inadequate Protection: Without a financial order, there is no legally binding document outlining the financial rights and obligations of each party. This can leave you vulnerable to unfair treatment or inadequate protection of your financial interests.
  • Lack of Clarity: A financial order provides clear guidelines on matters such as property division, spousal maintenance, and child support. Without such clarity, it may be challenging to determine your financial responsibilities or enforce your rights.
  • Future Disputes: Without a financial order, there may be ongoing disagreements or disputes in the future regarding financial agreements. This can lead to additional legal proceedings and associated costs to resolve these disputes.
  • Financial Instability: The absence of a financial order can contribute to financial instability, as there may be no clear plan for managing debts, assets, or ongoing financial support. This can impact your financial well-being and hinder your ability to move forward after a separation or divorce.


How long does it take to get a divorce financial order?

The duration of obtaining a financial order in a divorce can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the financial circumstances, the level of cooperation between the parties, and the backlog of cases in the court system.

In some cases, parties may be able to reach a negotiated settlement and obtain a consent order relatively quickly. This can happen if both parties are cooperative, have a clear understanding of their financial situation, and are able to come to an agreement on the division of assets, debts, and financial arrangements.

However, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the process of obtaining a financial order through court proceedings can take longer. The timeline can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the financial issues involved and the efficiency of the court system.

In general, obtaining a financial order through court proceedings in a divorce can take several months to a year or longer. It may involve multiple stages, such as filing the necessary documents, attending court hearings, providing financial disclosure, obtaining valuations of assets, and presenting evidence to support the respective positions of the parties. The court’s caseload and any backlog of cases can also affect the timeline.

It’s important to consult with a family law solicitor who is familiar with the laws and procedures to get a more accurate estimate of the expected timeframe for obtaining a financial order in your specific circumstances.

How can Expert Family Law assist?

If you are seeking legal advice regarding a financial order in a divorce or separation, then our team at Expert Family Law are happy to assist. We work with a range of experienced firms across the country to provide our clients with the most appropriate legal professional for their case.

We ensure that the divorce solicitors on our panel have the skills and experience required to assist in your legal case. We can assure you that your case will be dealt with in a compassionate and understanding manner.

Each solicitor we work with is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Get in touch today using the form at the top of the page to find out if a divorce solicitor from our panel could help with your case.



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