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Can I ask the court to change our financial settlement?

I was ordered to pay my spouse a lump sum on our divorce. I cannot now pay it as my business has suffered because of the pandemic?

Can I ask the court to change our financial settlement?

This is a difficult one. There is a route for applying to the court to change a financial settlement because of an unforeseen and unforeseeable event since the court made the financial order.   However it is not a given that this will be enough to persuade the court to change a settlement. In a recent case the former husband asked the court to reduce a lump sum to be paid to his ex-wife because his school meals business had suffered a financial downturn due to the covid pandemic. This downturn did not occur until September 2021 when in fact most children had returned to school. Prior to that the furlough scheme and business interruption loans propped the business up. On this basis the ‘event’ – the return to school and reduction of government support, was foreseeable. This is not to say that the covid pandemic would not potentially be deemed unforeseeable and unforeseen in some other cases. But you should always think first as to whether any other legal avenues are available to remedy matters before launching this type of application.

Kerseys Family Law Solicitors offers tailored-made solutions for divorcing and separating couples. Whilst our standard working day is 9.00am to 17.15pm, our Family Lawyers are flexible to support your needs and will if possible arrange out of hours online appointments for you, visit our web site and click “Call Me Back” to request a free call back or telephone us at Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich 01473 213311 or Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester 01206 584584 or email us at [email protected]

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