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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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A clause in a Consent Order declares that it is not the

Customer Question

A clause in a Consent Order declares that it is not the intention of the parties to seek an increase or decrease under the Order for periodical payments except in the event of a significant change in either party's financial circumstances. What do the cases and day to day practice in the Family Courts indicate is a significant change in this situation?
After a Consent Order has been made is there a legal duty on the part of either party to disclose information about his/her increase or decrease in their income?
Tony
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Are you able to provide a copy of the consent order for my consideration using the paperclip icon please - if not, is there any specific clause that directs a requirement to provide regular disclosure of income and what the spousal maintenance amount is linked to?

In relation to the usual practice in relation to variation of spousal maintenance this is usually when there is a significant and consistent decrease to the liable party's income or the receiver's income (if the spousal maintenance amount is linked to the income) or cohabitation/remarriage.

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Harris and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am unable to provide a copy of the Consent Order which I have examined closely. There is no specific clause, or part thereof, which directs a requirement to provide regular disclosure of income. The Order is completely silent on this important point and in my view lacks the specificity of like clauses in comparable orders. The parties are left at a loss to understand their position, whether they just observe the obvious trappings of increased wealth and go for variation using their suspicions as a starting point. This led to my detailed research on legislation and case law, plus many website articles.The Order raises more questions than it answers, hence my question concerning the meaning of 'a significant change in a party's financial circumstances. The entire Order is generic at best and in comparison with other orders which give specific figures, percentages and periods of time to assist the parties involved, it is bland and indeterminate.Many thanks for your initial comments.Best RegardsTony
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Given the significant change in circumstances he would have a right to apply to vary the spousal maintenance and have it reassessed based on the current circumstances. Furthermore, if she is no cohabiting with a new partner he should check the terms of the order as there may be a clause which ends the spousal maintenance on the cohabitation with a new partner. If there is a child maintenance liability for the children this should also be reviewed given that they are now living with him.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Apologies, please ignore the above message as it was sent to your thread in error.

In relation to the issues you have outlined. As there is no specific clause for disclosure, it would be usual, for example, if the the liable spouse's income drastically decreases it is usual for the maintenance to be varied by applying to court.