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Variation or capitalisation of financial orders

If a court orders one pension to pay their ex an income, either one of them can ask the court to change the amount or fix a lump sum to pay it off once and for all.

Typically, one of the parties will apply to vary the order in situations where, for example, the maintenance order is no longer enough or alternatively where the party paying the maintenance order can no longer afford to do so at the level stated in the order. Jobs can be lost and bonuses can be cut in times of economic downturn, making the original maintenance order unmanageable. If you are in this situation, it is important to seek independent legal advice before doing anything such as stopping payments.

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.

Austin Kemp specialise in advising high net worth individuals or ex-partners of high net worth individuals who find themselves in the situation where they would like to vary their financial order. We can advise you if you find that your spouse is living in much better financial circumstances than when the order was made or you find yourself in much worse financial circumstances since the order was made. Alternatively you may wish to move on from your relationship and would like to turn the payments into a lump sum.

We can also help if you find out that your previous partner wants to vary the financial order. It is never too early to seek specialist legal advice.

Our team of expert solicitors at Austin Kemp will guide you through the process and are particularly experienced in dealing with individuals who have large quantities of assets and investments not only in England and Wales but also abroad.

Before going to court it is important to attempt to re-negotiate the order with your previous spouse’s solicitors. We are experienced in negotiating with the other party’s solicitors in order to avoid lengthy court battles but if an agreement cannot be reached we have the necessary experience and expertise to take your case to court.

The court will consider not only your and your previous partner’s needs but also the needs of any children. Austin Kemp will provide you with specialist legal advice in order for you to achieve the best outcome and make sure you have a solid legal argument for your case.

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.

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