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Why get a freezing order?

If you’re undergoing a particularly complicated divorce or dissolution, perhaps with animosity from your ex-partner, you may find it a comforting piece of legal protection.

You might have concerns that your ex-partner is hiding or transferring financial assets to a third party, in which case a freezing order from the family courts is a useful way to protect them until a final judgment can be reached.

How can we help you get a freezing order?

To obtain a freezing injunction, you must prove to the court that the assets are at risk – and quickly. Our expert   are highly skilled in collating the evidence needed and presenting your case to the court within the short timeframes required.

The freezing order can be made for assets here, in England and Wales, and globally (although this will vary from country to country). Again, our specialist freezing order lawyers can help you navigate these complicated areas of the law.

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When will a court grant a freezing order?

The court has a wide discretion to grant a freezing injunction. However, it will do so only when it considers that such action is just and convenient with the following factors in place:

  • The English court must have jurisdiction
  • The applicant must have a ’cause of action’ such as deceit or a breach of trust (a counterclaim will also be sufficient) by the other party
  • There is a good, arguable case – however, they do not need to show that the case will succeed, the court will give due consideration to the strength of any defence
  • There must be sufficient assets in existence to meet the amount of the claim
  • There must be a real risk that the person in charge of those assets will dispose of or use them up
  • The applicant must provide an undertaking to the court to pay any damages to the other party if it is later shown that the injunction should not have been granted

Why choose Stowe Family Law to assist with your freezing order?

  • We’re the UK’s only law firm fully dedicated to family matters, which means our team of legal experts specialise in a broad range of niches, from financial matters to child law.
  • Our team of legal experts are experienced in dealing with sensitive cases, so you can expect an understanding approach to help you through the process step by step.
  • We take out legal jargon in favour of clear and concise explanations that help make family law easier to grasp.
  • We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and listed in the Legal 500.
  • We’ve been shortlisted for national awards and been named Family Law Firm of the Year by the Hampshire Law Society and at the Yorkshire Legal Awards.
  • We have numerous helpful guides that cover a range of family law queries.

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Freezing order and injunction FAQs

Freezing order and injunction FAQs

  • Are freezing orders necessary?

    Although freezing injunctions can be a useful thing to implement, they are often enacted unnecessarily.

    In many cases, the threat of disposing of assets from the other party won’t carry any weight. Some cases use a letter and an undertaking by the spouse in the instance of a divorce. This is used as a legal promise to either act or not act on something.

    If formal proceedings are required, specialist family lawyers can help you by asking the family court to preserve certain family assets. This way, you could save money because applications like these don’t need the same level of safeguarding as freezing orders.

    People may be more inclined to implement a freezing order where large quantities of money are involved or where the relationship between the two parties has completely broken down with little trust.

  • Why can the courts action freezing orders?

    The courts’ power to grant a freezing order comes from section 37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981. However, the legal principles that drive them revolve around whether it is ‘just and convenient’ to do so. This means the decision lies with the judge and whether they deem a potential freezing order to be fair.

    It is important to take specialist independent legal advice from a freezing order solicitor with experience in this area of family law. They will be able to explain the intricacies to you in as much detail as you need.

  • How long does a freezing order last?

    This decision ultimately lies with the courts. The initial period of 7-14 days can be extended or discharged depending on the outcome of the proceedings. In short, a freezing injunction can last as long as the court deems necessary.

  • What if the other party wants to move assets abroad?

    The prospect of an ex-partner moving assets abroad can understandably cause panic, which is why some people turn to a freezing order.

    It’s worth noting, however, that some clients’ assets could already be placed under another jurisdiction outside of England and Wales, in which case further movements of these assets could be almost untraceable.

    Under these circumstances, a worldwide freezing injunction may be appropriate.

  • What happens if someone disobeys a freezing injunction?

    If this happens, the offending party can be held in contempt of court. The consequences include being fined, having their assets removed or even being sent to prison. There may also be sanctions for third parties who willingly help the affected party to breach the conditions of the freezing order.