Final Orders

The Importance of Final Orders in Divorce Proceedings

19/04/2024

A London Law firm is currently in the news for mistakenly divorcing the wrong client. It is understood that a mistake happened whereby the wrong client file was opened and the final divorce order was applied for on that file instead of the intended client’s file. Upon realising the mistake, an application was made to rescind the order due to human error of simply clicking the wrong button. However, this application was dismissed with the Judge finding that despite the client’s lack of consent the application was not voidable as her solicitors were generally authorised to act for her. This therefore established that the application for final order was made validly on the client’s behalf.

So what happens if you apply for your final order within divorce proceedings by mistake or maybe you have changed your mind and no longer wish to finalise the divorce? Well as set out in the case above, there are very limited circumstances in which a final order can be set aside. Those circumstances relate to procedural irregularity or jurisdiction. So if a mistake is made, it appears that unfortunately, the final order cannot be undone. A final order is a judgement and the court’s position is that it is in the public interest that these orders cannot be overturned easily.

Why is the final order so important?

The final order within divorce proceedings legally brings the marriage to an end. Once you are legally divorced you are free to remarry is you so wish to do so. There are however, a number of implications which arise from the final order being made, such as:-

  • No longer benefiting from your former spouse if something was to happen to them, you would no longer be their widow/widower;
  • Pension rights and life policies may be lost upon pronouncement;
  • Wills will need to be updated as any appointment of your former spouse to act as executor or trustee within your Will will be ignored and any gift left to your former spouse will fail completely;
  • Matrimonial homes rights granting you protection to remain living in a property owned solely by your former spouse will fall away;
  • There can be tax exemptions for married couples.

What should you do if you have finalised the divorce but not considered the above implications? You should seek legal advice regarding obtaining a financial remedy consent order to make sure you are protected. 

How Pinney Talfourd can help

If you find yourself navigating divorce proceedings or have questions about final orders and their implications, the please contact a member of our dedicated Family team on 01708 229 444 for expert guidance tailored to your situation.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Jade Mercer, Solicitor in the Family team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of April 2024.

19/04/2024

Authors

Jade Mercer

Solicitor

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