A financial settlement on divorce is often painstakingly negotiated. However, sometimes the best laid plans don't always work out. And when this concerns financial settlements, a variation order can be used to redress the balance.

A financial settlement is made by taking into account a number of factors, including:

  • current wealth
  • how the value of any jointly owned property has been applied
  • an estimate of future earnings
  • the relative earning power of each party

Essentially, the entire picture of a couple's finances is assessed to take into account all of the factors and all of the assets. Oratto member lawyers will be able to help you to see how and why a financial settlement was reached.

Usually, the terms of a settlement are final. But under certain circumstances they can be changed - and a variation order provides for this.

When can I apply for a variation order?

The UK has seen a period of economic instability in recent years. And sometimes this has meant that financial orders put in place by the courts cannot be fulfilled. However, if this is the case, it must be fully evidenced. There are severe sanctions if a party simply refuses to pay. Oratto can connect you swiftly with a solicitor skilled in applying variation orders who will be able to help you understand what can be varied and why.

Will I have to go straight back to court?

No. The first step in altering any financial order is to attempt re-negotiation between the parties. If this is not possible then a variation order may be sought. This gives the court the power to vary any aspect of the financial settlement. For example, the provision of a lump sum or amendments to any periodical payments being made.

Will property allocations be affected

No. Nor the value of lump sum payments. The court will simply put in place a structured payment plan if it believes this is suitable under the circumstances. They cannot remove the obligation, only vary the terms which must be applied.

Under what circumstances will a variation order be granted?

Oratto member family law solicitors are accustomed to seeing variation orders being applied in situations such as:

  • job loss
  • illness or accident
  • an unseen, unpredicted financial event

Basically, if something has happened which affects the individual's ability to meet required payments, then a variation order can be used to ease some of the financial obligations.

There is a process which must be followed to obtain a variation order. If you are seeking to use one, or you are being faced with one, don't delay in contacting Oratto to help find you the most appropriate legal support. Our member lawyers are skilled in assessing the individual situation and work rapidly to protect your best interests.

You can tell us about your circumstances in a number of ways, via phone or through the internet, or you may wish to browse our lawyer profiles to find the member solisitor you wish to speak to.

With Oratto member solicitors to advise you, you always have the law on your side