Financial relief is the name given to resolve the financial issues arising out of any divorce or judicial separation. Having to deal with financial issues following a separation can be a very stressful time. However, there is more than one option available to you when determining how the assets are divided.These include

Right Arrow The Court determines how the assets are divided
Right Arrow Both parties talking to each other directly or through mediation
Right Arrow Through a Collaborative law approach, i.e. both parties and their lawyers meet to resolve financial issues

When a Court considers resolution of financial issues the starting point is an equal division of the capital assets of the marriage. However, the Court has to achieve fairness and equality.

The Court’s paramount consideration is the welfare of any child of the family under the age of 18 years. In determining financial relief matters, the Court has to have regard to the following matters:-

Right Arrow The income earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each spouse has, or is likely to have within the foreseeable future, including, in the question of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which it would be, in the opinion of the court, reasonable to expect a person to take steps to acquire.
Right Arrow The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that each spouse has, or is likely to have, in the foreseeable future.
Right Arrow The ages of each of spouse and the duration of the marriage.
Right Arrow Any physical or mental disability of each spouse.
Right Arrow The contributions which each spouse has made, or is likely to make in the foreseeable future, to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family.
Right Arrow The conduct of each spouse, if that conduct is such that it would, in the opinion of the Court, be inequitable to disregard.
Right Arrow The value of each spouse and any benefit which one spouse, because of the divorce, will lose the chance acquiring for example a pension provision.

Both parties have an ongoing duty of frank disclosure to the Court. In determining an Application for financial relief the Court may make a range of orders:


Periodical Payments

2. The Court can order one spouse to pay maintenance for the other. This can be on an interim basis (maintenance pending suit) or at the conclusion of the case for a limited period of time or until death. Orders for maintenance are variable on a future application as a consequence of, for example, a change in one parties circumstances, change of costs living etc
3. Lump Sum Order – The Judge has the power to order one party to pay to the other a lump sum
4. Property Adjustment Order – The Judge has a wide range of powers in relation to property, whether that be owned by one party or the parties together. The principal asset of any marriage is usually the matrimonial home. The following types of Property Adjustment Orders are possible:Transfer of property –The Judge has the power to transfer a property from one party to the other, with or without payment of a lump sum in return

Sale of property – The Judge has the power to Order an immediate or delayed sale of a property. It is not uncommon, when considering the matrimonial home, for a Court to Order that that should not be sold until the youngest child of the family reaches the age of 18 years or ceases full time education. When ordering a sale the Judge will also determine how the proceeds of sale will be divided
5. Pension Order – Pensions are assets of the marriage and will be considered by the Court. The Judge has three options when dealing with pensions:
-Offset – the pension holder retains his/her pension and the other party to the marriage receives additional capital from other matrimonial assets.
-Pension Sharing – the existing pension fund is divided between the parties in proportions determined by the Court. The person who receives the benefit of the Pension Sharing Order must invest the monies in their own pension.
-Pension Attachment – the Court Orders that a proportion of the pension, once it matures, both as lump sum and income, is paid to the other party.