Beware and be careful! Divorce can be like a game of chess and care must be taken when making your next move.
This is especially so to avoid the serious consequences of the remarriage trap.
The Remarriage Trap: So what does all this mean?
Sections 22-24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 outline the orders the court can make when one spouse seeks a share of the matrimonial assets upon divorce by making an application for a financial order.
Section 28 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 deals with the duration of the orders made by the court, and more specifically the effect of remarriage on such orders.
S28(3) prohibits applications for financial provision and property adjustment on remarriage, however there can be exceptions to this.
If you simply divorce without resolving the financial issues and then remarry, you may be prevented from seeking many financial remedies including spousal maintenance orders, lump sum orders and property adjustment orders.
Provided that an application for financial orders has been made in the application for a divorce (you have also selected that you intend to make an application for a financial order at some stage during the divorce process) and the application has not been dismissed on divorce, the remarried party can issue financial proceedings.
As more people than ever are handling their own divorces, this can come as a shock to many who simply do not realise that filling the forms out incorrectly could have a catastrophic impact on them making a financial claim arising from their divorce, and they may be prevented from doing so and suffer serious financial loss.
This is a complicated issue and having little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as can trying to make sense of information on the internet.
In basic terms, in order to be safe a party should not remarry until their finances have been resolved and a financial order has been issued by the court.
It is a good idea to notify the court of your intention to file an application for a financial order no matter what, in order to protect your position.
How we can help
Divorce solicitors who specialise in family law will include a claim for financial relief with their client’s divorce petition.
This ensures the client has some protection as the application for financial relief has clearly been made before the Petitioner has obtained Decree Absolute and has then remarried although the court has not yet made a definitive decision on whether this is sufficient or if a full application for financial relief is still required.
It is always better to be safe than sorry and we ensure that all of our clients are protected.
Finally, we cannot stress enough how important it is that people do not remarry without first concluding their divorces properly we would always recommend that legal advice is taken before the remarriage so as to ensure your position is protected.
If you have any questions about the remarriage trap, then feel free to call one of our specialist family solicitors in Chester.