Introduction to variation or capitalisation of financial orders
Financial settlements reached after a full hearing or by agreement of the parties are incorporated into a financial order of the court. In cases where the order is one for maintenance, such an order is generally capable of variation by the parties by way of a further order. This allows either party to apply to the court, where appropriate, to vary the terms of the maintenance order. Such applications are commonly made where the paying party is no longer able to afford the level of maintenance ordered or conversely where it is no longer adequate for the receiving party’s needs. As an alternative to, or in addition to varying a maintenance order, an application may be made to capitalise it into a final capital sum rather than on-going maintenance. This can be very important in allowing a clean break with the past. Not every type of financial order can be varied, as it is intended that capital orders (such as lump sum and property adjustment orders) should allow both parties a level of certainty for their financial future. These orders are therefore not capable of variation unless they are being paid by instalments. In contrast to maintenance orders, capital orders (such as lump sum and property adjustment orders) are intended to provide both parties with a level of certainty for their financial future, and are therefore not capable of variation unless they are being paid by instalments. For more details please see our guide to variation or capitalisation of financial orders.
How Vardags can help with the variation or capitalisation of financial order
We are frequently approached by clients who find themselves in a very different financial position months or years after their financial order was made, or those who see that their spouse is in very different, generally greatly improved, financial circumstance which make the old order seem unfair. Equally, clients approach us, be they the paying party or the payee, who want to move on and make a break with the past by way of capitalising their order. It is difficult to overestimate the emotional value of obtaining a clean break, both for oneself and for one’s relationship with other partners.
In these circumstances we draw on our broad ranging expertise in negotiating financial settlements to seek to agree the necessary changes with the other party’s solicitors so that an amended order can be filed by consent. Where this is not possible, or it is clear that an agreement is unlikely to be reached, we will urgently proceed with an application to the court for the necessary changes to the order in light of the parties changing circumstances. If you become aware that your former spouse has applied, or intends to apply, to vary or capitalise your final order, we strongly advise you to seek legal advice at your earliest opportunity. It is important that from the outset of any proceeding you have a coherent and clear legal argument to support your case.
The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors. Therefore, please call us on 020 7404 9390 or email us to make an appointment to come and see us.