Freezing orders are designed to prevent a person from dissipating or disposing of assets during the process of a separation or divorce, until the conclusion of any financial dispute.
Freezing orders are designed to prevent a person from dissipating or disposing of assets during the process of a separation or divorce, until the conclusion of any financial dispute. Freezing orders are useful where couples, married or unmarried, are considering separating, meaning that an agreement must be reached as to how to deal with their assets, but there is concern that one party may conceal and dispose of assets to prevent these falling central to any settlement negotiations. This can include, property, cash in bank accounts, shares, business assets and pensions, regardless of whether the assets are held jointly or in a party’s sole name.
How do I obtain a freezing order?
In order to obtain a freezing order, an application must be made to the Court to show that there is good reason and a necessity for a freezing order to be granted. In many cases this will be a ‘without notice’ application, to ensure that the other party is not informed of the proceedings, giving them an opportunity to dispose of assets before the order can come into effect.
Do I need legal advice when applying for a freezing order?
It is essential to obtain legal advice prior to the making of the application to ensure that the application stands the best chance of success against the Court’s stringent criteria. It is vital that you provide your solicitor with as much information as possible regarding the likely whereabouts of the assets and your reasons for concern, including any corresponding evidence of financial foul play from your partner. More importantly, you will be required to provide an undertaking to the Court, which is a legal promise, to reimburse any damages to your partner should it be found that the order should not have been made in the first place. It is therefore imperative to seek legal guidance as to whether the order is in fact right for you, and your personal circumstances.
It is likely that your partner will be given an opportunity to respond to the application and to challenge the making of the order, meaning that the outcome of the application is at the discretion of the Court. Similarly, should you find yourself facing a freezing order and you do not think the same is warranted or necessary, you should seek immediate legal advice as to challenging the order, due to the time sensitive nature of the application.
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