This is where freezing orders come into their own.
Freezing orders are a type of injunction which are used to freeze assets. They can be utilised to stop someone disposing of an asset, or even using it, for a certain duration.
Freezing orders can be employed for various different purposes but in family law, they are normally used to stop a spouse from disposing of an asset, until the financial settlement has been finalised.
In short, yes. Assets both in the UK and abroad can be made the subject of a freezing order.
Everything from jewellery to property can be specified on a freezing order. One of the most common things to be made the subject of these orders, however, is a bank account.
In addition, freezing orders can specify something that your spouse has not received yet. For example, if your spouse is selling their business, the money that they will get from the sale of that business could potentially be made the subject of a freezing order.
However, as freezing orders do take away a person’s ability to freely use their assets, the courts do not give them out without a number of very strict criteria being fulfilled.
It is highly advisable that you seek expert legal advice if you would like to apply for a freezing order.
As we mentioned above, in order for a judge to grant a freezing order, a number of conditions will have to be met.
For example, you will need to show that your spouse is intending to dispose of the asset/s. This cannot simply be a suspicion that s/he will do so, but good, solid evidence.
Additionally, you must show that your spouse has enough money to pay for living and legal expenses, as well as any debts, while the order is in force.
It is also worth noting here that it will normally be necessary for you to promise to pay for any losses incurred by third parties or your spouse, as a result of the court order.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of criteria. Indeed, this is a highly complex area of law and it is worth repeating that it’s vital to seek legal advice.
Finally, if you want to contest a freezing order, it is crucial to arrange a meeting with a solicitor experienced in this area of law, as soon as possible. If you ignore a freezing order, you could be found to be in contempt of court, which could result in a prison sentence.
For more information on freezing orders call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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