The remarriage trap: Don’t fall into it

If you are tying the knot after a divorce, you must ensure that you do not fall into the dreaded ‘remarriage trap’.

When going through divorce proceedings, it is of crucial importance to ensure that all financial matters have been fully resolved before considering remarriage – as failing to do so is precisely what gives way to the trap.

This is because a person remarrying who has failed to resolve financial matters with an ex-spouse will effectively be barred from applying for a Financial Provision Order through the Courts, under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Following a divorce, the Matrimonial Causes Act ensures that, should either party remarry without dealing with their financial claims, that party will not be entitled to apply for a Financial Provision Order or Property Adjustment Order in their favour against their ex-spouse.

The easiest way to avoid the trap is to ensure that all financial claims are fully resolved before entering into marriage with a new partner. Too many people are unaware that following a divorce, your financial claims against one another will not be automatically dismissed. In fact, financial claims will only ever be dismissed should a Court either make a final order in financial proceedings, or approve a consent order recognising that an agreement has been reached.

Furthermore, Palmers Solicitors advise that an application for financial provision should always be included within the divorce petition regardless of whether you intend to pursue it.

In some cases, a financial application will already form part of a divorce petition, and this will simply require ticking the correct boxes. In other instances, you’ll need to issue an additional application in Form A.

A Respondent is the party who is on the receiving end of a divorce. The Respondent is advised to issue an application under Form A if it is their intention to re-marry, even if their spouse has initiated the financial remedy procedure by ticking the correct boxes in the divorce petition.

Whatever your position, by following the correct procedure and issuing your Form A application, your claims will remain open – and be protected – should you find yourself remarrying a new spouse in the future.

Palmers Solicitors specialise in advising on all aspects of family law. For more information, please contact Kevin Double in our South Woodham Ferrers team at enquiries@palmerslaw.co.uk.