Q&As

The petitioner gave an undertaking to their solicitors not to apply for the decree absolute in relation to the divorce suit until financial matters had been resolved between the parties. The solicitors are no longer instructed by the petitioner. Does the undertaking still apply?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 31/03/2021

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

  • The petitioner gave an undertaking to their solicitors not to apply for the decree absolute in relation to the divorce suit until financial matters had been resolved between the parties. The solicitors are no longer instructed by the petitioner. Does the undertaking still apply?

It is often the case that, where parties are in the process of divorcing, an agreement will be reached to the effect that the petitioner will not apply for decree nisi to be made absolute for a particular period of time, usually linked to the resolution of the financial aspect of the divorce. This is principally due to the risk of a loss of spousal pension benefits should a party die in the course of financial remedy proceedings after decree absolute has been pronounced but before any final order and the implementation of any pension sharing order that may be made. It is common for the petitioner to give an undertaking through solicitors not to apply for decree absolute.

In this scenario it is suggested that the petitioner gave an undertaking to their own solicitor, rather than through their solicitors to the other side. The petitioner has since disinstructed that solicitor. It is not clear why the client would give an undertaking to their own solicitors, but it is like

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