For many couples, the emotional toll of relationship breakdown will be the main concern when thoughts turn to divorce, but it will probably be the financial settlement which will cause the most anxiety as the spouses attempt to extricate themselves from their ties, both financial and familial.
However, with the advice of George Ide’s experienced yet sensitive divorce lawyers in Chichester, you can be assured that your best interests, and those of your dependants, will be maintained throughout the proceedings.
As part of the divorce process the spouses will be asked individually whether they wish to apply for ancillary relief.
This is the formal name in English and Welsh family law given to a financial settlement on divorce and constitutes the ancillary (additional) elements of marriage dissolution, other than the formal ending of the legal ties formed when a couple are married.
The application can only be made once the divorce petition has been lodged with the family court and is usually made by the spouse who has the lower earning potential. Although this is usually the spouse who looks after any children of the marriage, if a spouse has given up a lucrative career to relocate with their spouse, this may be taken into consideration by the court, whether or not there are any children.
The family court will be concerned with two key areas of a couple’s finances, these being the division of property and ensuring that any major disparity in earning potential between the spouses is addressed.
Applications for ancillary relief must be made on Form A and are required to be lodged in the court which is hearing the divorce petition. The spouse applying for the financial settlement is from then on known as the applicant.
On receiving the application the court must, firstly, fix a date for a first appointment at the court, which will be at least 12 weeks after the date of application but no later than 16 weeks after, and, secondly, serve a copy of the application on the other spouse within four days of the ancillary relief application being made.
It is important to be aware that once an application for ancillary relief has been made to the court, a strict timetable of actions must be adhered to by the applicant and the respondent (spouse defending the financial settlement claim) or the court has the right to penalise the spouses by applying cost to the case.
The family lawyers at George Ide in Chichester can offer help and advice to spouses seeking or defending an application for ancillary relief, whether you are in the local area or further afield in West Sussex, Hampshire or the south of England.
Prior to filing your Form A application, or once you have been served with an application for ancillary relief, our team of family law experts will be able to advise you on the time schedule and all the necessary details you will need to supply to the court.
For more information, or to discuss your divorce financial settlement with our team of divorce lawyers please contact our Chichester offices. For direct contact details please click through to the staff profiles featured on this page.