Mesher and Martin orders

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mesher and Martin orders
  • General principles
  • Ways in which the property may be held
  • Drafting the order and trigger events
  • Variation
  • Case law
  • Tax considerations

Mesher and Martin orders

The court may consider it appropriate for one party to remain in a property, with the other party retaining an interest in that property that will be realisable in the future and secured by way of a charge. Such an order is a postponement of the exercise of a trust for sale of a property, followed by division of the proceeds of that sale at a date in the future. The most common types of such orders are generally referred to as Mesher or Martin orders. The principal features of each type of order are:

  1. Mesher order—generally the sale is postponed, or realisation of the charge is deferred, until the death, remarriage or formation of a subsequent civil partnership, of the party in occupation, the youngest child of the family attaining a certain age or ceasing full-time secondary or tertiary education, whichever is the later, or further order of the court

  2. Martin order—generally the sale is postponed, or realisation of the charge is deferred, until the death, remarriage or formation of a subsequent civil partnership, of the party in occupation, such earlier date as they cease to live at the property, or further order of the court

ie a Martin order does not include operative events in relation to children (potentially, but not always, because the marriage was childless, as in Martin)

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