Financial arrangements on the breakdown of a relationship Financial arrangements on the breakdown of a relationship Financial arrangements on the breakdown of a relationship Financial arrangements on the breakdown of a relationship

Applications for Financial Orders

These were previously known as applications for Ancillary Relief and are generally the sorting out of financial matters on a divorce, dissolution or judicial separation. It is completely separate from financial issues relating to children. Sorting out these arrangements with your former partner amicably and thereby avoiding court proceedings, can save a lot of time and money.

Just because a person is married does not automatically give them an interest in their spouse’s asset. English law does not have a unified system or a formula to calculate a “divorce settlement”. There will often be a range of possible solutions to dividing the assets, and we can advise on and discuss an amicable agreement which can be made with your partner. If no agreement can be reached, you have the right to invite the court to decide on a division of the assets with your partner.

If there are children from the relationship, generally speaking, the court will give priority to the parent who is caring for them. The court will also try to address the reasonable needs of the parties, including housing, and with the children taking priority.

The law relating to financial applications is generally governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which sets out sets out the factors which must be taken into account when a court has to decide on a financial settlement. The factors are:


the welfare of a child of the marriage;

the income, earning capacity, property and resources of each party to the marriage;

the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of each person;

the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;

the age of each person and the duration of the marriage;

any physical or mental disability;

the contribution made by each person to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home and bringing up children;

the conduct of each person, but usually only if it is so bad it would be unfair to ignore it; and

any serious disadvantage to either person which would be caused by ending the marriage.

How the above factors are applied varies according to the circumstances of each case. The court’s role is to balance those factors and decide what is fair in all the circumstances therefore what may have been the outcome in one case will not necessarily be the same outcome on another case.

In order to minimise legal costs parties must give serious consideration to alternatives to court proceedings, such as mediation.

For further information or to instruct us please contact Shobha Naik on 020 7700 0265 or email her at

[updated 12.05.23]

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