I have a Financial Remedy Order- what happens next?

A financial remedy order sets out the terms of a financial settlement in divorce proceedings.

Negotiation, Mediation, and Court Proceedings

An agreement may have been reached through negotiation, by attendance at mediation or following court proceedings. However, obtaining the final financial remedy order is not necessarily the end of the process.

Implementation of the Financial Remedy Order

The Order will set out details of what will happen to financial assets. There will be obligations on both parties. This might be to sell a property, to share a pension or it might be to pay a lump sum.

The terms of the Order need to be implemented.

In the majority of cases the Order is implemented without any problems. However, there is the risk that one party may stop engaging, delays responding or refuses to comply.

Firstly the financial remedy order should be drafted with as much detail as possible. This may be agreeing the choice of estate agent and conveyancer in advance. It may be setting out who is to serve the order on a pension provider and to provide clear timescales for any payments to be made.

Enforcement proceedings are a further set of family court proceedings where the Court is asked to enforce the terms of the original order by adding additional provisions to ensure compliance. If the application is successful the party who has failed to comply could also be subject to a costs order.

The original order can be varied. One party may be given sole conduct of a sale or the person in occupation of a property may be required to move out known as vacant possession.

Seeking legal advice

This is a complex process and it is important to seek legal advice as early as possible. If you require advice and assistance then please do not hesitate to contact the Family Law Team at Browell Smith & Co.

What is a pension report and when is it needed?

Pensions are often the most valuable assets in a matrimonial financial settlement case. However often they are overlooked as parties focus is often on the ‘former matrimonial home’ and meeting the immediate financial needs of the parties and the children of the family.

It is important that both the short and long-term needs of the parties are considered as part of the overall financial settlement.

Cash Equivalent Transfer Value

It is important to understand the values of the pension assets and this is why solicitors ask the parties to disclose their cash equivalent transfer values (CEV or CETV.)

Often these figures alone will not give sufficient information to determine whether and how a redistribution of pension assets known as ‘pension sharing’ is appropriate and how the pension assets should be shared in order to achieve either equalisation of CETV’s or income in retirement.

When is a pension-sharing report required?

In cases where there are defined benefit pensions, the CETV may not represent the “true value” of the pension. Other circumstances where a pension report may be required are as follows:

  • Defined contribution pensions with hidden values or other complicating factors;
  • Where parties are seeking an equality of income in retirement where there is a significant age difference between the parties;
  • Where either party has a serious  medical or health issue;
  • Where pensions have been accrued prior to the parties relationship and marriage

When would a report not be required?

A report may not be required:

  • Where the pensions are uncomplicated defined contribution pensions;
  • Where the values are modest in relation to the overall matrimonial assets;
  • Where there parties are in their 20’s or 30’s and have had a relatively short marriage.

How can we help?

It is important to remember that each case and set of circumstances is different there is no “one size fits all” therefore it is extremely important that, if there are pensions, you seek early legal advice. At Browell Smith & Co, we aim to provide clear and tailored advice and assistance in respect of your specific family circumstances. Our family law solicitors are highly experienced in this area and are able to advise and assist you in instructing a pension on divorce expert to produce a report should it be deemed necessary in your case.

Parental Orders – Surrogacy and Same Sex Parents

The law, in England and Wales which governs surrogacy, is the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

Where a child is born via surrogacy, the surrogate is recognised as the mother. If the surrogate is married, then her husband would be considered the Father. If not married, then the biological father would be deemed the Father; whilst not necessarily acquiring Parental Responsibility.

In order to become legal parents the intended parents must make an application to the Court for a Parental Order. A Parental Order effectively legally reassigns parental rights and responsibilities to same sex couples.

Legal advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity in respect of an application for a Parental Order as complications can arise.

For example, if a Parental Order is not obtained, then those who intend to be the child’s parents would not be the child’s legal parents.

In the absence of a Parental Order, those intending to be the child’s parents would have no Parental responsibility for the child.

In the absence of Parental responsibility, the intended parents would be unable to make those important decisions parents make, such as those relating to medical care and education.

How do you apply for a parental order?

In order to be able to apply for a Parental Order the intended parents must pass certain criteria

  1. The applicant or applicants must be either married or in a civil partnership or an enduring family relationship.
  2. At least one of the parents must be biologically related to the child
  3. The Application must be made within 6 months of the child’s birth
  4. The Surrogate must agree with the application unconditionally and provided consent at least 6 weeks following the birth of the child

We provide advice and support when looking to obtain a Parental Order

If you require advice and support in respect of an application for a Parental Order then please do not hesitate to contact the Family Law Team at Browell Smith & Co.

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