Family Law Financial Settlement Review

It is usually extremely difficult to change the terms of a financial settlement in family proceedings once an order has been approved by a Judge.  There are some exceptions to this, but as a general rule, once an order has been made, it cannot be reviewed.

However, on very rare occasions it is possible to ask the Court to “set aside” a final financial order on the basis of a “Barder event” occurring.  This refers to the case of Barder v Barder in 1987 when the Court of Appeal allowed one party leave to appeal a final order on the basis of an unforeseen event.

Early indications from the Court suggest that the current pandemic of Covid-19 may be considered to be a “Barder event”.  This does not mean that anyone who has a final financial order will be able to try and change the terms of settlement, but there are some circumstances in which it will be relevant.

If you have very recently finalised a financial order and the current pandemic has already had an adverse impact on the terms of settlement, it would be worth seeking specialist advice.


Contact Madeleine Young, 0118 955 9616,, or Sandra Marshall, 0118 955 9615, to discuss on a no-obligation basis.

Published on 25/03/2020

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