Interveners and Third-Party Claims in Family Cases | Divorce Lawyers & Family Law Solicitors | Austin Kemp

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Interveners and Third-Party Claims in Family Cases

Divorces and associated financial cases are complex — but not just for the couple seeking a split.

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In some cases, a third party might get involved by intervening.

What does it mean to intervene in a case? The legal definition isn’t too far from what you’d expect based on the phrasing.

Intervening refers to the process by which a third party can become involved in a divorce case. It typically happens when the third party — known as the intervener — has some kind of interest in the outcome of the case and wishes to protect that interest.

How Can Austin Kemp's Divorce Solicitors Help You?

The solicitors at Austin Kemp understand how sensitive this process can be. With more than 200 years of expertise, we’ve seen the full gamut of divorces and financial claims firsthand.

Our specialisation in family proceedings empowers you to defend what’s yours no matter where you stand in the split. Learn more about protecting your interests by contacting us today.

How to Intervene

Although motivations for intervening in a matrimonial case vary widely, the steps typically follow a set formula. Even if the case itself proves unconventional, those who want to step in need to adhere to a predetermined procedure to have their concerns considered by the court system.

Imagine you co-owned a small firm with a friend who later decided to get divorced from their spouse. To protect your business interests, you may decide to intervene.

One party may start by submitting an application to the court requesting it make you a party to the proceedings — also known as being joined to the proceedings, alternatively, the court may invite you to join in. If made a party then you are able to participate in any hearings and make submissions to the court. Another option may be to consider asking the court for permission to submit evidence for the Judge to consider in the case, but not formally become a party.

Although the fundamental process of intervening in matrimonial proceedings isn’t quite as complex as some other legal actions, it’s not something you should try to tackle without help.

These matters tend to be highly emotionally charged, and intervening doesn’t always help, regardless of how justified you might be. There are a number of factors to consider. Our team of experienced solicitors can help you manage your case the right way to minimise negative outcomes and enhance your odds of success.

What Is a Third-Party Claim in a Family case?

Third-party claims lie at the heart of intervention actions. These claims occur when someone who wouldn’t normally be considered a party to the proceedings makes a claim based on their interest in the outcome.

Who Can Make a Third-Party Claim?

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People intervene in divorces for many different reasons — having a vested interest in a business or property owned by one of the soon-to-be-ex spouses isn’t the only valid motivator. Interveners such as trustees and fund managers might also get involved in high-net-worth divorces that involve pensions and other investment vehicles.

In some cases, interveners are more closely related to the divorcing parties. This can happen when the disposition of disputed assets is up for consideration by the courts and extended family members decide to make a claim. Or, you might have entered a relationship with one of the spouses and co-signed a loan on their behalf — which would make it wise to protect yourself!

It’s also worth noting that valid third-party claimants don’t just include those with financial interests. For instance, grandparents who want to maintain access to their grandchildren can file claims. So can guardians and other formally-appointed parties who represent the interest of minors.

What do all these types of interveners have in common? No matter who they are, they must prove they have a valid interest in how the case plays out.

What Happens If Someone Makes a Third-Party Claim?

If someone makes a third-party claim, it can throw a wrench in ongoing proceedings: The court will want to determine such claims before considering the ultimate outcome between the spouses or partners. This is the only way to ensure everyone involved walks away with what they deserve.

Unfortunately, making this decision isn’t always easy for judges. For example, when extended-family claimants believe they have an interest in properties or businesses, it’s not always simple to determine whether the assets at the heart of the dispute were given as gifts or loans. In other cases, assets may be held in a third party’s name, leaving it up to the courts to untangle the threads.

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How Do I Respond to a Third Party Claim?

The best move to take in the event of a third-party claim is to seek legal advice. Even though the court might not join the intervenor to the proceedings, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.

How you’ll proceed depends on the nature of the claim. For example, you may contest the claim, in which case the intervenor will have to provide evidence to support it. Or you might simply allow the joinder to proceed. We can guide you through your options.

Intervening can be a complex, costly, and time-consuming process — and so can responding to an intervener. Whether you’re considering this option or dealing with the shock of a third party making a claim, it’s essential to seek knowledgeable legal advice.

The solicitors at Austin Kemp have extensive experience with litigation and focus exclusively on family law. High-net-worth clients depend on our legal instinct, discretion, and compassionate approach to help them move on with their lives and enjoy simpler divorces with better outcomes.

Want to make your split less tumultuous — despite the surprises you’ll face along the way? Learn more by calling 0845 862 5001, or reach out via email to mail@austinkemp.co.uk.

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First Class Service

Choose Austin Kemp and you'll get a premium service in all areas. We aren't the cheapest out there, but what we are is the best solution to help you get what you deserve.

Impeccable Advice

Our advice and strategy is second to none. Not all law firms are created equal. Because we're specialists, our depth of knowledge is often the edge that makes the difference.

Challenging Thinking

We work with you to get what you deserve. We don't mean that it's going to be easy – but we're here to support you every part of the journey.

Industry Leading Professionals

We have A-players at every level. We employ the best of the best, and that's why our clients choose us. Because getting the right solicitor can mean your future takes a different path.

The Right Fit

We'll make sure you have a solicitor that fits your case type. If you want a certain approach to your case – we'll make sure your solicitor has the right style for you.

Empathy

We know that getting a divorce divides your world into two. We're here to guide you through the uncertainty and emotional rollercoaster. One step at a time.

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