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Divorce 101: Ancillary Relief - Part 3 - England & Wales (#32)

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No. 32- Ancillary Relief - Part 3 - England & Wales

Final hearing

At the final hearing, the judge has the power to issue any of the following orders:

  1. Consent Order

    A Consent Order is one that both parties agree to before it is issued.  The parties hammer out a deal and then ask the court to issue an order reflecting the terms of their agreement.  The court should approve the order if it is in the best interests of the parties (and their children, if they have any).

  2. Court-Imposed Orders

  3. Where the parties fail to reach an agreement, the court will hear arguments and then impose a settlement by issuing one or more of the following:
    (a) Lump Sum Order

    One party pays a specified sum of money to the other as compensation for their ownership interest in an asset or assets.

(b) Periodical Payment Order

One party pays money to the other every month, e.g., spousal maintenance &/or .

(c) Secured Periodical Payment Order

Here, payments are secured upon a particular asset.  Thus, if the party who is supposed to pay money dies or defaults, the other party can demand an asset be sold to fund future payments.

(d) Property Adjustment Order

The court changes ownership of an asset, usually from joint ownership into one party's sole name.

(e) Order for Sale

The court orders an asset be sold (usually to fund a lump sum order).

(f) Clean Break Order

This ends all claims the parties may have against each other on all financial matters except .  The aim of such an order is to make the parties financially independent.

(g) Deferred Clean Break Order

The court may also order a clean break after a specified period of spousal maintenance.  The aim of such an order is to give a party fair and reasonable time to adjust to separation and end their financial dependence.

(h) Pension Sharing Order

The court issues an order against a party's pension rights.

The judge at the final hearing will not be the same as the one who presided over

Note also that except for and/or periodical payments for a child (see above), financial orders cannot be granted until the decree nisi is pronounced.  And the orders cannot come into force until the decree nisi has been made absolute.

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