What Happens after the Divorce?

MAINTENANCE

After the divorce, can you apply for a change or end to maintenance payments? Orders for maintenance are variable. This means that, if the court ordered you to make monthly payments to your ex-spouse, but then your circumstances change, or your ex- spouse's circumstances change, you can apply to the court to change the arrangements.

The court can change the amount, and/or impose a term (so that payments automatically end on a certain date). It can also "capitalise" the maintenance, which means that the current arrangement would end, but not until the paying party makes a payment of a lump sum or transfer of a pension share.

If your ex-spouse does not make the maintenance payments included in the Court Order then you can apply to enforce them.

If your ex-spouse is employed, one of the most effective methods of enforcement is to apply for an Attachment of Earnings Order. This is an order that allows their debt to be deducted by the employer from their wages and paid straight to you.

You can apply for an attachment of earnings order by completing Form FR15:

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=16450

You should send the form to County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) PO Box 527 Salford M5 OBY together with the court fee, which is currently £110.

For more information about attachment of earnings orders including guidance on how to complete the application form: https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/ex323-eng.pdf

Another option is to apply for enforcement by such method as the court thinks appropriate. The form to fill out for these purposes is Form D50k:

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=2608

For more information on enforcing your order:

https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/ex321-eng.pdf

CHANGE OF NAME

After the divorce, you can change your name back to your maiden name. To change your name with banks, building societies, on your Driving Licence, Passport etc., you may need to produce your birth certificate and/or certified copies of your marriage certificate and Decree Absolute.

Changing a child's name requires the permission of all of those with parental responsibility. Therefore, if your ex-spouse has parental responsibility, you will need their consent before you can change the child's name.

Parental responsibility (“PR”) is defined as "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property by law".

In practical terms, those with PR are able to make decisions about the child's property and welfare (including but not limited to religious upbringing, accommodation, education and medical treatment). Problems can occur when there are two people with parental responsibility and they disagree about some of these issues.

Every day decisions such as the activities a child undertakes, how a child spends their time, and routine medical check-ups can be carried out by one person with parental responsibility.

Other decisions can be taken by one person with PR but they must notify the others with PR.

However, some decisions have to be made in consultation with all holders of PR, as in this case. You would thus need permission from the other parent to change your child’s name.

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