When a marriage breaks down there are often ill feelings of anger and resentment from either spouse resulting in spiteful actions. In such situations it is not unusual for the individuals to try and sell assets or spend the money to prevent there former partners from receiving any financial settlements upon divorce due to there wrong doings.
A freezing order is an interim injunction that can be used to prevent your partner from disposing (spending), dealing with his assets (selling) or hiding certain assets. It requires specialist legal knowledge to maximise a prospect of obtaining a freezing order as the applications can be complex depending the structure of the assets and their jurisdiction.
If you are concerned about your partner attempting to get rid of assets then you may want to consider a freezing injunction.
The main purpose of the freezing order, in family matters, is to preserve marital assets from being touched until a financial settlement is reached.
In theory any assets can be frozen. Typically the types of assets involved in such cases include property and bank accounts. A freezing order can even include assets not yet in existence, like an award for personal injury or a new work contract. .
The Crown Court has the power to grant a freezing order over the assets of any individual on application. Freezing injunctions are usually sought without notice to the respondent, as giving notice would defeat the purpose of the injunction.
To obtain a freezing order, the Court has to be satisfied that your partner is about to sell or otherwise get rid of an asset with the intention of preventing someone else from receiving any financial benefit.
Yes, but an order freezing assets held in other countries is only likely to be made where it is likely that the foreign courts will cooperate. Your solicitor will be able to assist you further with this decision.
There are a number of documents which will need to be completed prior to attending Court to obtain a Freezing Injunction. These are as follows:
In addition to the Freezing Injunction, you may also want to consider any other appropriate requests such a spousal maintenance or interim payments.
You also may wish to consider usual directions on the Order such as:
Failure to comply with the terms of the freezing order can be a contempt of court.
It is very important to take immediate legal advice from a solicitor with specific expertise of dealing with freezing injuctions.
You can challenge a freezing order depending on the strength of the application such as basis, grounds and evidence provided as well as remedy sought. You may want to consider what assets you’d wish to be excluded from the application such as living expenses, business assets or legal fees
You should look to put forward a response by disclosing your assets or challenging the order whether it be all of the order or parts of the order and highlight which parts are accepted and which should be excluded.
Freezing injunctions are usually time-sensitive. If you have been served with an application, you should seek urgent legal advice so you are in time to respond to or challenge the application.
A freezing order is initially granted for 7-14 days. The reason beings is that most freezing orders are granted without any notice to the respondent. This is done purposely and tactfully to prevent the respondent from being able to hide, spend or sell the assets in question from the applicant.
At the expiry of the 7 or 14 days, there is then another court hearing date at which the various parties then attend court. At that hearing, the court can do a number of things;
If it is continued until “trial or further order”, the freezing injunction remains in place until there is a trial of the underlying claim itself or the parties otherwise agree by consent at a later stage for the freezing order to be withdrawn. Therefore, a freezing injunction can last for different periods of time depending upon the agreement or settlements.
As specialists in financial settlements after divorce, we regularly act for high-net worth individuals who have assets over the world.
In these kinds of cases, it is unfortunate that one party can take steps to dissipate assets away from being within our client’s arms-reach. In such cases, our strong team of solicitors for freezing orders can take a rigorous approach to protect our client’s interests in ensuring such assets are frozen and preserved for our client’s benefit.