I'm already divorced but my spouse is still not satisfied
If your spouse is looking to appeal, challenge, or vary your financial settlement, it is vital that you engage with the process and seek top legal advice.
As leading divorce lawyers, Vardags have fought and won important cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. We know how to best engage with the appeals process, drafting innovative and novel legal arguments. We will help you to fight against your ex-spouse‘s application for permission to appeal, and work with leading appellate counsel to present your case at the appeal hearing.
We will help you to understand when to negotiate and how to challenge the appeal, to ensure that you get the best result possible.
If your spouse is seeking an increase in maintenance, we will help you fight their demands for more money and advise you on how to counter their claim. If appropriate, we will also help you negotiate the capitalisation of their maintenance, ending your obligations to them and perhaps obtaining a significant discount in what you have to pay.
We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.
How can Vardags help?
Where a spouse is dissatisfied with the outcome of a case, they can appeal. To do so, however, they must have viable grounds.
Judges in family law have a wide discretion to make findings of fact and rule on the distribution of assets between the parties. For a successful appeal, the court must be shown that the initial judge erred in their understanding or application of the law. It is not possible to have a re-run of the case simply because you do not like the outcome.
As top family lawyers, Vardags often deal with cases in the Court of Appeal. We will help you marshal the legal arguments to defend your position and show that the original decision was reached in the right way. We will work with leading appellate counsel to ensure that the court reject your spouses’ appeal, giving you the security of a final decision.
If your partner’s appeal is unsuccessful, they may well be ordered to pay your legal costs, allowing you to rebuff their claims without being out of pocket.
Since the Supreme Court decisions of Sharland v Sharland and Gohil v Gohil, the court has greater ability to re-open cases if there has been fraudulent non-disclosure. This has led to an increasing number of spouses trying to have their cases brought back to court.
Often, this can be unmerited, born out of their feeling they got a bad deal, rather than actual evidence of asset hiding. Even so, an appeal can be a costly and time consuming process with you having to go to court to fight the allegations.
Vardags are experienced with cases such as this, and will help you demonstrate that the original outcome was the right one. We will help you demonstrate that your previous disclosure was full and frank and that any omissions were honest mistakes and not attempts to deceive the court.
Unlike ordinary family proceedings, the losing party in an appeal can be ordered to pay the winner’s costs. It is possible therefore that you will be able to rebuff these false accusations without being out of pocket.
Unlike many other countries, England allows people to apply for financial remedies even if they are already divorced in another country. Often spouses will use this power, Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act, to try to re-open the case and get more money.
Part III applications are complicated, and they should not be seen as a simple chance to get a second go. It is only available where “no, or no adequate provision” has been made and is likely to be largely limited to what your spouse reasonably needs. That said, the court has a broad discretion in the award it makes.
As international family lawyers, Vardags are used to making and resisting Part III applications. We will help you demonstrate that the existing award was fair and provides adequately for their needs. Where the court decides that additional provision is necessary, we will help you ensure that it is limited to what they actually need and prevent them from attacking your assets.
When you divorce, any maintenance order will be based one what you are earning at the time. For whatever reason, you might not always be earning at that level.
Whether it is due to a downturn in your business, ill-health or retirement, you might find that the maintenance payments are taking a disproportionate amount of your income. If that is the case, you can ask the court for a downward variation of your maintenance.
The court will assess what you can pay and what your ex-partner needs, using that to decide what you should be paying. The court uses expedited proceedings for this, so it is likely to be far less lengthy and costly than your original proceedings. It may even be possible to agree without going to court.
If you have suffered a dramatic fall in income, it is vital that you seek a new order rather than unilaterally stopping payment. Even where you are unable to pay, the court can look unfavourably on you if you just stop the maintenance. It is far better to contact experienced lawyers like Vardags to help you review your obligations.
If you want to reduce the amount you pay, Vardags can help you.
If your ex has increased their own earnings or is cohabiting with a new partner, it may be possible to reduce the amount of maintenance you pay to them. Ongoing maintenance will always be informed by your partner’s needs. If those needs change, or they are able to meet them from other sources, then it may be possible to apply for a downward variation of the payments you make.
If you think it is appropriate for your maintenance payments to drop, then Vardags can advise you. We will help you demonstrate how your spouse’s needs of changed, or how they are receiving extra cash.
Though the court’s decision will depend greatly on your circumstances, we are confident that we can help you to reduce what you are required to pay.
Often couples try to make child arrangements work between themselves, without recourse to the courts. Sadly, this does not always happen successfully, with the resident parent preventing the children from seeing their other parent or limiting contact. If this has happened to you, Vardags can help.
As experienced family lawyers, Vardags can help you establish a regular system of contact with your children either through negotiating with your ex-partner or by applying to the court.
In deciding how to manage child arrangements, the welfare of the child will be a paramount concern. The court understand that, generally speaking, it is in a child’s best interests to have a good quality relationship with both parents and will help you find a positive and sustainable way to achieve this.
If there is an order in place and your ex-partner is breaching it, it is a very serious matter. You can apply to the court to enforce contact and they might punish your ex-partner’s breach. The court can fine people, sentence them to community service, or even jail them for failing to abide by a contact order.
Whatever your situation, Vardags can help you preserve your relationship with your children and ensure you have an appropriate amount of contact.
If you are ordered to make payments by the court, deliberate failure so to do will be considered contempt. Disobeying orders is taken very seriously by the courts and can result in fines and even imprisonment. If you are genuinely unable to make the payments required by the award, you will need legal advice to address this before arrears mount up.
If the order to which you are subject has been made very recently, it may be possible to appeal. If the judge has made a mistake about the law or facts in your case, then it may be possible to apply to the court to reassess what you are required to pay.
If more time has passed, and you or your spouse’s circumstances have changed, then you may wish to seek a variation of the original order. This would mean returning to court to seek a reduction in what you pay. This would likely depend on your income capacity and your former spouse’s ability to meet their own financial needs. It certain circumstances it may be possible to restructure payments to make them more affordable.
If you are considering appealing an order or applying for a variation, it is important that you keep making payments as much as you can. Failing to keep up with payments ordered by the court can undermine your case and you may be made to pay arrears with interest.