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Matrimonial Finances

Matrimonial Finances

Matrimonial Finances

Matrimonial Finances

One of the more complex areas of family law is financial provision following divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

Often one home becomes two, and working out how the family’s assets and income should be valued, separated and shared to achieve a fair outcome during an emotionally charged time can be difficult.

Financial agreements and settlements

Our expert family team advises on the full range of financial disputes on divorce and dissolution. The team members use their extensive knowledge and experience to facilitate a financial settlement by negotiation, agreement and a consent order, wherever possible, and to navigate clients through financial remedy proceedings if matters cannot be resolved.

The family court has the power to make a range of financial orders pursuant to divorce and dissolution of a civil partnership. Financial awards take different forms and may include the transfer or sale of real and other property, the payment of capital lump sums, the variation of nuptial settlements, the sharing of pension funds and the payment of spousal and child maintenance.

There is no standard formula when determining appropriate financial provision on divorce and dissolution. The court must first consider the welfare of any child of the family, followed by the range of statutory factors set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (the section 25 factors).

The family court has a wide discretion. Judges can be creative in their approach, and some may reach different conclusions on similar facts, all of which are within their judicial discretion.

We advise our clients on the full range of orders which could be made in the circumstances of their case. We also guide clients through the section 25 factors, explain how the relevant factors should be applied by the court and offer the range of possible outcomes if they are unable to resolve matters by consent.

There are often points of contention and arguments for and against different outcomes in each case. We have extensive experience in all areas and are well equipped to advise our clients on settlement and the right strategy for their case.

Financial assets and structures

A significant number of the cases we deal with have international considerations, and many of them involve complex business and trust structures, both onshore and offshore, and lucrative remuneration packages with long term incentives.

As family lawyers we work closely with other lawyers at Sheridans, and with other leading professionals including family lawyers in other jurisdictions, accountants and trusts, tax, property and pensions experts to provide every client with seamless advice and a comprehensive, first-class, service, delivered as a trusted advisor.

Freezing injunctions and set aside orders

When parties separate there can often be concerns about the concealment of assets, the transfer of assets to third parties and sales at an undervalue, which are intended to prejudice or defeat financial claims.

There are steps that we can take within financial remedy proceedings to investigate transactions on behalf of our clients, and to protect and secure assets pending the final determination of all financial claims and implementation of the financial orders.

Freezing orders (or freezing injunctions) can be urgently secured, and transactions made with the intention of prejudicing or defeating financial claims can be set aside. As experts in this field, we advise on the best strategy and act swiftly and efficiently to protect the interests of our clients and any children of the family.

Interim financial provision

Agreeing settlement terms or applying for financial provision can require us to consider how one spouse or civil partner is to be financially supported in the interim - before the final financial orders are made. This was once known as Maintenance Pending Suit (MPS) but is now more commonly known as interim provision, interim maintenance or interim periodical payments.

Many couples agree living arrangements and financial provision in the interim without court intervention. However, reaching an agreement about the use of the family home and financial support in the interim can be difficult, depending on the circumstances of the case and the nature and extent of the financial resources, and disputes can arise during the early stages.

If parties cannot agree the financial arrangements in the interim, an application may be made to the family court. A judge will then decide if one party should make financial provision for the other until the long-term financial issues are finally resolved.

Our experienced family team assists clients with organising and securing living arrangements, as well as financial provision in the interim, by negotiation and agreement wherever possible, and by an application to the court if matters cannot be resolved.

Legal costs funding options

We pride ourselves on first-class legal service and unrivalled client care for all our clients.

Part of our bespoke service is having an open dialogue and ongoing conversations with our clients about legal fees and tailoring our service to meet their specific needs. This includes considering all options for litigation funding, when required.

We have relationships with litigation funders, ranging from lenders who provide clients with funding to cover their legal fees (and, on occasion, their living expenses) as they go through financial remedy proceedings, to private banks which can provide more bespoke loans for a range of family law services, depending on the nature and value of the family’s financial resources.

We are also experienced in making applications to the family court for Legal Services Orders (LSOs), which are often referred to as Legal Services Payment Orders (LSPOs), in cases where one party needs to seek a lump sum or regular payments from the other to be able to obtain legal services for the proceedings.

Variation of financial court orders

Whilst capital orders should be final, some financial orders can be varied or terminated if there should subsequently be a material change in the financial or other circumstances of the payer or payee.

Reasons that may justify a downward variation or termination of a spousal maintenance order include where a payee cohabits with a new partner or there is a significant reduction in the payer’s income due to the loss of employment, the collapse of a business or retirement.

On the other hand, a spousal maintenance order may be increased if all the circumstances justify an upwards variation, or capitalised and paid as a lump sum if the payer can reasonably afford to pay the required lump sum from their capital resources, to achieve a clean break.

Why choose Sheridans for matrimonial finances?

We are matrimonial finance experts. We advise our clients on interim provision and funding for legal costs, as well as the full range of financial orders which could be made by the court in all the circumstances of their case.

We also explain how the relevant factors should be applied by the court, offer a range of possible outcomes if matters cannot be finally resolved by negotiation and consent, and take all required steps to ensure that the terms of their financial settlement can be implemented and enforced.

Andrea Plum and Priya Palanivel are both accredited under Resolution’s Specialist Accreditation scheme as specialist family lawyers with specific expertise in complex financial and property matters (high-income households and substantial assets).

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Divorce, Dissolution, Separation and Nullity
A relationship breakdown that ends in divorce or dissolution can be a challenging and emotional subject to discuss, whether for personal, religious or cultural reasons.
Common law marriage is a myth in England and Wales. As a result of this common misconception, cohabitees can find themselves in financial difficulty if their relationship breaks down.
Our expert family team deals with the full range of agreements, including pre and post-nuptial agreements, pre and post-civil partnership agreements, living together, separation and settlement agreements.
International Family Law
Many of our cases cross jurisdictions and involve conflicts of law and cross-border disputes. We regularly advise clients on international issues arising in cases involving finances, agreements and arrangements for children and seek advice from our international network of family lawyers on the application of foreign law.
Enforcement of court orders
Our highly skilled family team assists clients by taking action to enforce court orders in circumstances where there has been a breach.
Child arrangements
We assist our clients in all aspects of private children law, and guide them through, what can often be a very emotional and challenging time.
Financial provision for children
Our specialist family team advises on the full range of financial provision which can be made for the benefit of children of married and unmarried couples, pursuant to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (known as Schedule 1).
Our specialist family team has a wealth of experience, and supports clients through private adoption with care and compassion.
Surrogacy and parental orders
Surrogacy is one of a range of assisted conception options for people who are unable to conceive or carry a child themselves.
Protective Measures and Injunctions
Abuse and violence within any family is a matter that our expert team handles with utmost care and sensitivity.
Family Mediation
Mediation is a method for resolving disputes which is wholly endorsed by the family justice system and family law practitioners.
Other alternative dispute resolution
Litigating in the family court should be a last resort, but there are cases in which an application is necessary, and court proceedings cannot be avoided. The members of our expert team are highly experienced strategists and litigators, should any family matter reach this point.
Divorce, Dissolution, Separation and Nullity
International Family Law
Enforcement of court orders
Child arrangements
Financial provision for children
Surrogacy and parental orders
Protective Measures and Injunctions
Family Mediation
Other alternative dispute resolution

Meet the team

Sheridans has a specialist family team which provides advice in all aspects of family law, within a leading media, entertainment and technology law firm. We understand our clients’ needs for discretion, personal and bespoke advice in order to manage highly sensitive family cases.


‘I found the quality of service outstanding. All of the individuals I encountered were extremely impressive – very on the ball legally and extremely responsive.’

‘Sheridans provides brilliant and balanced advice. It handles its cases with an effortless efficiency and there is an air of reassuring quality when dealing with the firm.’

‘Sheridans has a wealth of experience in all aspects of private family law. It routinely acts for high-net-worth and high-profile individuals such as actors, sports stars and elite athletes, and there is often a significant international dimension to its work.’

‘Nothing is too much hassle, and everything is done promptly. Experienced, thoughtful and professional.’

‘The children/private law practice is first class – they show a real commitment to their clients and are able, with considerable expertise and an excellent knowledge base, to offer the type of service clients need. They offer realistic advice and then drive and persevere to pursue their case.’

‘The team provides a very personal and joined up experience across their different practice areas.’

‘Professional and knowledgeable. Very helpful and concentrates on what is absolutely needed.’

‘The team is well-placed to advise those who are susceptible to press exposure.’

‘The group’s particular expertise lies in advising wealthy individuals on issues such as matrimonial finance and private law children matters frequently with an international dimension.’


Sheridans is a leading media and technology law firm whose lawyers combine in-depth legal and commercial knowledge with breadth of expertise and experience to give unparalleled advice to their clients.