When a couple divorces under English and Welsh family law, the parties have the right to apply for ancillary relief. This is the formal process, separate to the dissolving of the marriage, whereby the court will determine a financial settlement on divorce.

Oratto can help you find the right ancillary relief claim solicitor to ensure your full rights are realised when matrimonial assets are divided in line with Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Too often, division of assets is undermined or made contentious by a dispute; in these cases one party will most likely make an application to the Family Court; and  the court will then decide on the division of marital assets and the overall financial settlement.

Consent orders

Consent orders are necessary when couples are able to successfully negotiate the division of marital property and assets without court intervention. However, such divorce financial settlement agreements are not legally binding if they do not have consent orders to support them. This is why you should instruct a family law solicitor to apply to the court.

What is considered?

When considering ancillary relief claims courts will closely examine a number of crucial factors. These include the following:

  • The present and future financial needs of both parties
  • The duration of the marriage or civil partnership
  • The respective lifestyles of the partners
  • The needs of any children involved

Furthermore, courts will look at the value and role of any assets relating to the marriage or civil partnership. These include the family home, pensions, investments, insurance, extra properties and, conversely, debts.


There are no hard and fast rules about when to seek a financial settlement as no time-limits apply to the granting of ancillary relief orders; however, in the event that one partner remarries, that partner will then no longer be able to apply.

In some situations, the court may agree to delay a decree absolute until a final divorce financial settlement has been ordered although courts are perfectly entitled to order ancillary relief even after the final granting of a divorce.

Oratto's ancillary relief order solicitors

Oratto can match you with the ancillary relief claim solicitor who is perfect for you, your location and your circumstances. Search through our member profiles or try our matching service.

All the divorce solicitors featured in this section have vast experience in this complex legal field and will be experienced in the various aspects of contentious divorce financial settlements. Find the right legal advice and representation for your situation by comparing Oratto member solicitors today.