September 22, 2021
What happens if I get remarried without sorting out the finances in my divorce?
It is really important to reach an agreement about dividing your assets if you are going through a divorce or dissolving your civil partnership. Even if neither you nor your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner have any significant assets, the agreement needs to be incorporated into a document called a consent order, which is filed with the court along with some brief financial information for a judge to consider. The judge will approve and seal the order if they consider it is a fair division of the assets between the parties. The consent order will take effect and be enforceable once you have also obtained decree absolute in the divorce proceedings.
If you obtain decree absolute but do not obtain a consent order setting out the agreed division of your assets, and you later remarry, you could potentially lose your rights to claim a share of your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner’s assets, although you may still be able to claim a share of their pensions. If it has been agreed that one party will pay spousal maintenance to the other party, this obligation will also end on remarriage.
The way to avoid this is as follows;
- If you are the Petitioner, you should tick the option in sections 10.1 and 11.3 of the divorce petition to confirm that you want to apply for a financial order against the Respondent.
- If you are in the middle of divorce proceedings and are considering remarriage, you should make an application to the court for financial remedy proceedings by using Form A to ensure that you have begun the court process to claim for a share of your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner’s assets.
If you fail to do either of the above, it could result in you losing your right to claim any assets from the other party, which you would have been entitled to as a result of the divorce if you had not remarried.
The case of E v E  1 FLR 220 is an important reminder about the risks of remarriage as the parties agreed that the wife would pay the husband a lump sum of £250,000. However, the husband remarried before the consent order confirming this agreement was filed with the court for the approval. As the husband had remarried, the court was unable to consider the consent order and the husband did not receive the lump sum payment.
If you are considering remarriage, you should also consider entering into a pre-nuptial agreement to set out how the assets should be divided between you and your new spouse or civil partner in the unfortunate event of a separation in the future.
Wallace Robinson & Morgan Limited are based in Solihull and Dorridge and serve clients across Birmingham and the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and further afield. Our team of Family Lawyers are happy to help if you would like advice about divorce, dissolving your civil partnership, and dividing your assets following separation. If you would like to discuss your matter, please call 0121 705 7571 and ask to speak to a member of the Family law team or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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