What Is Ancillary Relief?

ancillary relief
What Is Ancillary Relief?

Generally, in situations where a married couple opts for permanent separation, the most suitable legal course of action is divorce. A definitive divorce decree terminates the union of the spouses. However, divorce proceedings do not involve the financial affairs of the married couple. At this juncture, it may be necessary to initiate finance proceedings, which are also known as ancillary relief proceedings.

What does ancillary relief mean?

As previously said, auxiliary relief is another name for financing proceedings. The term ‘ancillary’ refers to something secondary or supplemental. Ancillary relief processes are secondary and additional to primary actions such as the aforementioned divorce proceedings, legal separation proceedings, annulment proceedings, and so on.

Ancillary relief in divorce refers to financial proceedings or orders that can be sought after the divorce process has begun.

Married spouses may have assets obtained independently or jointly during the marriage, before the marriage, or after the marriage. Assets might be held solely in one spouse’s name or jointly between both. The family house is frequently the main asset for most married couples. However, this is not always the case. One spouse may have a high-value pension, business assets or interests, shares, or other investments.

Both couples’ incomes may be comparable, or one spouse’s salary may be much higher. The other spouse may be preoccupied with caring for any children and/or the home. Following divorce or separation, the stay-at-home spouse may be left with a low or no income.

Ancillary relief is the process of ‘detangling’ and separating the parties’ assets and income.

What Financial Orders Can Be Made By The Court During Ancillary Relief Proceedings?

The court’s starting point is to combine all assets owned by either party or both parties into one theoretical ‘matrimonial pot’ and divide them 50:50 between the parties.

However, the court may deviate from the 50:50 split depending on a variety of criteria like as children, housing needs, income needs, financial resources, contributions, and so on.

The court has the authority to make a variety of orders regarding any of the assets or income of either party in a divorce.

Here are a few samples of the most common types of orders:

  • An order for the sale of the family home, with the net sale earnings divided according to a pre-determined percentage.
  • Other property being sold or transferred into the name of one spouse
  • A pension pooling agreement (which is more typical in longer marriages)
  • Periodical payments, or spousal maintenance, are a sum that one spouse is required to pay to the other spouse over a specific time period.

How Do You Submit An Application For Ancillary Relief?

You will normally need to show the court that you have attended an MIAM before seeking for a financial order. This acronym is an abbreviation for Mediation Information Assessment Meeting. This is a meeting with a mediator during which they determine whether mediation is appropriate for you both and, if so, explain how mediation works and ask whether you want to participate.

After attending an MIAM, you can initiate ancillary relief/finance actions in court by completing and filing Form A. In most cases, you will also be required to pay a court charge. The current price is £275.

How long does ancillary relief take?

Proceedings can take a year or more. There are normally three hearings: an initial appointment hearing, a financial dispute settlement hearing, and a final hearing.

Our firm’s goal is to try to resolve disputes without contentious court actions or as early in court proceedings as feasible through discussions or other dispute resolution approaches to save you time and money.

If an agreement is achieved, it can be included in a consent order and sealed by the court.

DLS Solicitors’ family law professionals practice entirely in family law, which means we are frequently instructed by clients in divorce and ancillary relief proceedings. If you require any assistance with these processes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
2nd November 2023
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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