Freezing Orders in Family Law

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Why Freezing Order Solicitors might be required in Family Law cases

Most family law cases are emotional, meaning parties can often act irrationally. This is particularly the case in circumstances of divorce, particularly if there are large assets involved or a fear that one party will deplete or hide assets.

Our freezing order solicitors, who deal with your divorce and financial matters will help you obtain a freezing order to prevent your spouse disposing of, hiding or dealing with assets until your matter has been resolved, either by consent or the court.

The assets that can be subject to a Freezing Order

Almost any asset can be frozen under a Freezing Order, either in the UK or even worldwide. When it comes to family cases, they often involve property and bank accounts. If you have any questions about a particular asset that you would like to be frozen, please ask our specialist freezing order solicitors team.

How the assets are frozen

It is typically a High Court judge who would make a Freezing Order but District Judge and Circuit Judges can also make them. In order to do so, they must be satisfied that your spouse is about to sell or otherwise dispose of an asset with an intention of denying you any financial benefit.

There are conditions that apply before you can obtain a Freezing Order as set out in UL v K, a High Court judgment from 2013. For example, these conditions include, they need to have solid evidence of an intention to dispose of assets, having a good and arguable case that refusing to make an order would create a real risk of injustice and again necessary to have an order with exceptions, enabling the other party to pay living expenses, debts, legal costs and so on. If you have any questions about the conditions and whether you are able to comply with them, please make an appointment with a member of our divorce team who can assist you in this regard.

Duration of a Freezing Order

A Freezing Order can last as long as the court feels necessary. However, in divorce and financial matter cases, the Freezing Orders are usually made pending the resolution of proceedings and are therefore limited until such time that financial matters have been resolved and/or your Decree Absolute granted.

Disobeying a Freezing Order

If someone disobeys a Freezing Order, it is likely that they will be held in contempt of court and, as a result, that party can be committed to prison, fined and/or have their assets seized as a result.

A decision to make an application for a Freezing Order should be considered fully before any action is taken. Often, there are other more proportionate and cost effective steps that we can assist you in taking to protect your assets.

Our divorce solicitors in Chester are able to provide you with specialist independent legal advice (including financial settlements) with a view to assisting you and potentially making applications to the court on your behalf.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Or click if you would like more information about our family law solicitors Chester team.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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