Why Parties Should Apply For Decree Absolute With Caution

By December 10, 2020Family Law

The document most parties look forward to receiving is their Decree Absolute.   This is the final document in Divorce Proceedings and legally ends a marriage in England and Wales.    However, this does not bring an end to the parties’ financial claims unless the parties have already agreed the financial aspect of their case and have agreed a Consent Order which has or is to be submitted to the Court for sealing.

THE IMPORTANCE OF OBTAINING A FINANCIAL ORDER IN DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS SEALED BY THE COURT

If parties fail to deal with the financial issues and do not obtain a Court Order with a Clean Break,  where possible, none of their respective claims are dismissed under statute and either party may make an application for Financial Orders in the future which can be very distressing, especially if the parties have entered into a new relationship or even remarried.

IN THE EVENT OF REMARRIAGE AFTER DECREE ABSOLUTE

The party may lose some or all of their rights in respect of future claims against their ex-spouse.  Thus parties should not remarry however tempting until they have a sealed Court Order in respect of their financial settlement.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR SPOUSE DIES BEFORE A FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT IS FINALISED AND DECREE ABSOLUTE HAD BEEN MADE?

The Financial proceedings in a divorce case come to an end upon their spouse’s death.   It would then be necessary for them to commence proceedings under the Inheritance Provision (for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 on behalf of themselves or children of the family but they would have to show a need and these proceedings are expensive.

WHAT IS THE POSITION ON YOUR SPOUSE’S DEATH IF DECREE ABSOLUTE HAS NOT BEEN MADE?

If Decree Nisi has been pronounced but no application has been made for Decree Absolute then the surviving spouse will be entitled to all of the benefits that they are entitled to as a widow or widower.

This means that certain assets may only be transferred to the deceased party’s spouse.  Prime examples are pension funds and sometimes trust funds.   

If you wish to discuss applying for Decree Absolute or obtaining a Financial Settlement please do not hesitate to telephone our Senior Family Solicitor Lynette A’Court on 07754662438 for your free initial consultation.