Questions on Ancillary Relief Proceedings
Any time a couple is looking to file a divorce, many questions often arise. Many times the main questions a couple may face is what is ancillary? When these questions arise, not knowing the answers can often make a person take drastic measures and make uninformed decisions. Q. What does ancillary relief mean?When a couple petitions for divorce, any issue or dispute related to distribution or ownership of monetary assets, property or any financial obligations are resolved by the court on request by either of the parties involved. Such a request is done through filing an application of relief along with that of divorce. Such a petition, requesting a financial relief is known as Ancillary Relief.Q. Can courts decide on children during an Ancillary Relief Proceeding?There are few circumstances in which courts can decide on children in financial terms. A court can always make a periodical payments order requiring payment by one spouse to the other, provided the spouses agree to it in writing. The order can also be for periodical payments directly to the child until the child attains 17 years of age or ceases full time education or any other vocational or professional training. Courts can order school fee payments to be made and can also make lump sum payment orders. Other than these, orders for transfer of property or settlement of property in favor of children or any other variation of the above settlement orders can be issued by courts. However, courts do not exercise these powers.Q. Is it possible to ignore a judge’s order in an Ancillary Relief divorce proceeding?It is no different than any other legal ruling by a court. Violation of a judge’s order can lead to contempt of court and the violator can be prosecuted for the violation.Q. Can a judgment in an Ancillary Relief proceeding be appealed by someone?In case one feels that the judgment issued in an ancillary relief proceeding is unfair, one can always hire an attorney who specializes in appeals to support one in filing an appeal against the judgment. These specialized attorneys have expertise in appeals and can take the right steps on one’s behalf.Q. If necessary paperwork is not ready, is it mandatory for one to respond to an ancillary relief order when received?In case of a no response situation, the other spouse always wins by default. In case one cannot provide paperwork that the court asks one to provide, one needs to respond to the order with an answer that should also consist of the information or paperwork that has been gathered till then. Also one should request for an extension so that one can gather the rest of the information or paperwork that the court has requested in the order. It is always important to review one’s rights before proceeding with an ancillary relief divorce. However, it always helps if someone with more experience or knowledge on this issue is present to help one before one makes final decisions.