What is an ancillary relief order?


Divorce proceedings take place when a married couple decide their relationship has irretrievably broken down and wish to have their marriage formally brought to an end. A divorce petition is made by the petitioner’s solicitor and will follow a consultation in which one or both parties have taken legal advice. The petition is made to a family law court, which will then send the petition to the other party, who becomes the respondent.

Your divorce law solicitor, in addition to making the petition for a divorce order will also be concerned with arrangements for the settlement of financial matters and matters relating to the ongoing care of children.

Ancillary relief orders

Resolution of financial matters in a divorce case is considered under an application for ancillary relief made by the petitioner’s solicitor. The application aims to take all of the known assets, earnings and earning capacities of both parties to the marriage, and to suggest how those assets might be fairly allocated to each side to ensure fairness. Full and frank disclosure is required as if additional assets come to light later on any ancillary relief order can be set aside.

The actual order made by the court concerns the formal arrangements for the allocation of financial assets to both parties to the case. Typically, the order will involve one party paying the other a lump sum in settlement, or the transfer of ownership in property, or the provision of maintenance payments, or the sharing of pensions and investments. In many cases the settlement is likely to involve a mixture of these mechanisms. In some cases, parties can agree a settlement and in which case their solicitors will apply for a consent order to make their private agreement legally binding.

Any decisions made by the court will take into account the care of children in the first instance. In addition, the court will consider the length of the relationship, the age of both parties, each parties ability to earn in future and the respective assets each party has, and is likely to need going forward. This last part considers the standard of living you’ve been accustomed to during the relationship. In most cases, judges will aim for a clean break, avoiding ongoing contact between the parties.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on ancillary relief orders, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist divorce solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local divorce solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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