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My ex-partner says they don’t have any money left. What are my rights?

If you or your ex-partner can’t pay the maintenance payments in your financial order then you can go to court and try to vary it. The court will consider not only your and your previous partner’s needs but also the needs of any children.

As well as varying a maintenance order it is also possible to turn it into a lump sum instead of smaller payments. This is called capitalisation of financial orders. Some people prefer this as it enables them to move on. It is important to note that not all financial orders can be varied. For example, lump sum or property adjustment orders cannot be varied unless they are paid in instalments.

Before going to court it is important to attempt to re-negotiate the order with your previous spouse’s solicitors. A variation or capitalisation of a financial order can be a relatively quick process if the initial negotiations are successful. Alternatively, it can take much longer if we need to take it to court.

If you do go to court, you can apply to vary the order on various grounds such as mistake, material non-disclosure, fraud or misrepresentation. The more you want to change the order (the bigger the change is) the more chance you have of the court varying the order.

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