financial provisiona phrase often used to denote rules relating to division of assets and payments on breakdown of marriage. It includes, in English family law, the process of distributing a couple's capital and income in a just and equitable way when their marriage ends in divorce. The court has extensive powers to make financial provision for the applicant. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, it can make financial provision orders, including maintenance pending suit; periodic payment orders and lump sum orders; and property adjustment orders - orders selling property.
Similar rules apply in Scotland where five principles are to be:
- (1) the net value of matrimonial property should be shared fairly;
- (2) fair account should be taken of any economic advantage derived by either party from the contributions of the other and of any economic disadvantage suffered by either in the interest of the other party or the family;
- (3) any economic burden of caring after divorce for a child of the marriage under 16 should be shared fairly;
- (4) a party who has been financially dependent to a substantial degree for financial support from the other party should be awarded such financial provision as is reasonable to adjust this over three years; and
- (5) a party liable to suffer severe financial hardship as a result of the divorce be awarded reasonable financial provision over a reasonable period to mitigate that hardship.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006