We find ourselves in unprecedented times and whilst there are many uncertainties one question that has arisen for family lawyers across the country is whether financial settlements that have been approved by the Court can be altered as a result of these exceptional circumstances given the financial concerns many are now facing.
When a marriage or civil partnership ends there are a number of financial claims to resolve. Without a financial settlement recorded in a Court Order these claims can continue indefinitely. Such an Order whether agreed between the separating parties or imposed by a Court is intended to be final and binding.
That being said some elements of Final Orders can be varied. The Court can vary the amount due or period of payment where an Order provides for ongoing maintenance or a lump sum paid in instalments if either party has had a significant change in their financial circumstances. It is clearly worth considering this option if a source of income has been lost as a result of Covid-19.
Additionally if external circumstances prevent an element...
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