Changing a divorce court order when circumstances change
There are some circumstances which, when they occur, can result in a change to a divorce court order.
In certain circumstances, a court order can be undone if there is an unforeseen event after the final hearing. Generally, to be a Barder event, something has to be relatively soon after the final hearing, unforeseeable, and invalidating the purpose of the financial order.
Barder events are very rare, and general only develop in extreme circumstances. In the original case, the order was rescinded as the receiving wife took her own life and those of the parties’ children. In other cases, it has been shown that events such as a company losing its value cannot be used to invalidate a court order.
Variation of Maintenance
Where an order is made for ongoing maintenance, the court has the power to vary this if either party applies. Where circumstances change to affect the payer’s income or the payee’s needs, then either party can apply to the court to vary the maintenance.
The court can increase or decrease maintenance, and will have to consider whether it is appropriate for maintenance to stop. The court will also look at the possibility of capitalising maintenance, replacing monthly payments with one lump sum.