After the divorce

After the divorce


After the divorce

After a divorce is finalised, a couple are likely to have many outstanding financial , family and personal issues that they must deal with before they are able to continue with their lives as unmarried individuals.

In particular, a couple may have legal issues concerning their:

  • Home
  • Maintenance
  • Capital
  • Children
  • Change of name


The matrimonial home is usually the most important capital asset of spouses in a divorce. The court has a wide discretion to determine what should happen to the home and the share that each spouse will receive when it is sold. The court may order that the following action is taken in relation to the matrimonial home:

• An immediate sale with the proceedings being divided in a specific way

• An outright transfer from one or both spouses to the other

• Delaying a sale until a point in the future and then dividing the sale monies in a specific way

• A transfer from one or both spouses to the other and a sale at a point in the future with a lump sum being paid to one or other spouse

The court may also make orders over rented property. For more information on orders over the matrimonial home see: Dealing with the home


After divorce an individual may have to pay for the maintenance of a child and a spouse.

a) Children

Applications for child maintenance are made to the Child Support Agency (the 'CSA') who applies precise formulas to assess the level of maintenance payable under the authority of the Secretary of State for Social Security.

b) Spouse

The level of maintenance that one spouse will pay to the other will depend on a number of variables. The most significant variable is the existence of any dependent children. If there are children, this will have a significant impact on each spouse's needs and resources. In many instances, there will be insufficient resources remaining for any maintenance to be paid to a spouse after paying maintenance for children.

For more information on orders concerning maintenance see: Dealing with maintenance


The court has power to make financial orders in divorce proceedings. There is no restriction on what the court may order. However, there are only specific types of orders that can be made and the court does not have power to order the parties to make payments other than to each other.

The court has the power to make one or more of the following financial orders:

  • Maintenance pending suit
  • Periodical payments
  • Secured periodical payments
  • Lump sum orders
  • Property adjustment orders
  • An order for sale

For more information on orders in relation to capital see: Dealing with capital


After a divorce there are three key legal questions that relate to your children:

  • With which parent will the children live?
  • How often will the children visit the parent with whom they do not permanently live?
  • Do you wish to change their surname?

The family courts have the jurisdiction to make orders in relation to the children. The courts will always put the interests of the child first and, if appropriate (looking at facts such as the age of the child), will ask the child for his or her opinion and preference in relation to such arrangements.

For more information on children and divorce see: Children

Changing a name

You may change your name at any time, provided you do not intend to deceive or defraud another person by doing so. You may change your forename or surname, add names or rearrange your existing names. In most cases you may change your name informally by simply using your new name.

Formally changing your name

When you get married you may wish to formally change your name for all purposes and may do so either by statutory declaration or deed poll.

a) Deed poll

A deed poll is the traditional way a person indicates that he or she has changed his or her name. Some professional bodies require members to produce a deed poll as proof of name change.

b) Statutory declaration

For most purposes, a statutory declaration is generally accepted as evidence of your change of name. A statutory declaration is a statement, recording your intention to abandon your old name and adopt a new one. Changing a name by means of a statutory declaration, can be cheaper and is often chosen for this reason.

For more information on changing your name see: Changing your name

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