Q&As

In a financial remedy consent order, can the court order one party to pay a share of future bonuses to the other party or should it be drafted as an undertaking to pay?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 14/11/2018

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In a financial remedy consent order, can the court order one party to pay a share of future bonuses to the other party or should it be drafted as an undertaking to pay?

In some cases, a party’s bonus can make up a significant part of their income. Although bonuses accrued post-separation may be the result of the party’s sole endeavours, and so the court may be reluctant to include them as marital property (H v H), it should be noted that future earning capacity is expressly listed as a factor for the court to consider at section 25(2)(a) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. While not subject to the sharing principle, a certain proportion of one party’s annual bonus may have to be paid to the other party to ensure that the receiving party’s needs are met.

The court does have the ability to order that the party who is due to pay spousal maintenance (the paying party) should pay a share of future bonuses to the receiving party. The appropriate approach in such a case is laid out in H v W.

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