What are Mesher and Martin Orders?
Mesher and Martin orders allow spouses to continue owning a property jointly post-separation until a certain trigger event happens. They are often referred to as “deferred orders for sale”. You may want a Mesher order if, for example, you want to stay in the family home with the children but you do not have the financial means to take over the mortgage.
Mesher and Martin orders are both types of settlement of property orders that can be used to adjust finances on divorce when the matrimonial assets are being split. A settlement of property order creates a trust over the property for the benefit of one or both parties (or for the benefit of a child of the family).
Both Mesher and Martin orders create a trust of land in which the parties hold the property as tenants in common in defined shares. This means that the property is owned jointly, but each party owns a separate share in the property. If one party dies, their share passes to their beneficiaries in accordance with their will or intestacy.
Mesher orders trigger an order for sale once a certain event happens. The proceeds of sale will then be split in accordance with the parties’ defined shares. Possible examples of triggering events under a Mesher order could be:
- Youngest child of the family reaching 18.
- Remarriage (or cohabitation) of the resident party.
- Death of the resident party.
- Further order.
When a Mesher order is in place, the joint legal ownership of the property is retained by both parties, even if only one of the parties remains living in the property. As the property remains jointly owned, the terms of the trust will often specify the contributions of each party to the mortgage payments, maintenance and upkeep of the property and insurance.
Mesher orders are complex and are often only appropriate in certain circumstances. This is because parties remain joined together in property ownership after their relationship or marriage has broken down.
A Martin order gives one party the right to occupy the former matrimonial home for life or until re-marriage.
Martin orders tend to be used if a couple have no dependent children and the non-resident party has no immediate requirement for capital to pay for somewhere new to live. For example, a Martin order could be used if the non-resident party is living in a second property which is worth much less than the matrimonial home. Likewise, a Martin order may be appropriate if the outright transfer of the former matrimonial home to the resident party would produce an unfair capital split.
The Government acknowledges that there may need to be some flexibility to enable developers to meet any existing s106 obligations, in particular financial contributions, during the current health crisis and in recent guidance it encourages Councils “to consider whether it would be appropriate to allow the developer to defer delivery”. However, the Government considers that the existing arrangements for varying a section 106 agreement by way of a deed are sufficient and will not be legislating for any additional temporary mechanisms.
In the absence of any formal variation, the Government does however advise Councils to take a “pragmatic and proportionate approach” to enforcement of planning obligations at the current time.
The Government’s advice does not refer to concerns over the quantum of any planning obligations but is concerned only with the timing for delivery. However, the viability behind many sites is likely to change as a result of temporary site closures, or the availability of construction materials and labour once sites can re-open. Where there is already a s106 agreement in place, a developer may wish to renegotiate their position on the basis that certain planning obligations are no longer affordable.
Where a s106 agreement was entered into longer than 5 years ago, an application can be made to the Council to formally vary a planning obligation that is now “without purpose”. Any refusals can be appealed to the Secretary of State.
Where a s106 agreement was entered into within the last 5 years, the agreement can only be modified with the agreement of the Council. The ability to renegotiate a s106 agreement will therefore come down to the willingness of the Council to accept the revised viability position. Where Councils are willing to consider this, a robust viability assessment agreed with the Council is likely to be needed.
The Act should make it easier for residents to obtain relevant information. It includes an obligation for the Principal Accountable Person to prepare a strategy for promoting the participation of residents, including the information to be provided to them and consultations about relevant decisions. The strategy must be provided to residents, and there will be provision for residents to be able to request information and copies of documents from the Principal Accountable Person. The type of information and the form in which it is to be provided will be set out in secondary legislation in due course, but the explanatory notes anticipate that it will include:
- Full current and historical fire risk assessments•Planned maintenance and repair schedules
- The outcome of building safety inspection checks
- Information on how assets in the building are managed
- Details of preventative measures
- Details of fire protection measures and the fire strategy for the building
- Information on the maintenance of fire safety systems
- Structural assessments
- Planned and historical changes to the building
The government has stated that the scheme will apply to apprentices and that they can continue to train whilst they are furloughed. However you must pay at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage for all periods of training during furlough leave, taking into account the rate increases from 1 April 2020 and the increases which will take effect from 1 April 2021. This means that you will be responsible for any shortfall in the amount claimed under the scheme and the appropriate minimum wage.
We recommend that you get in touch to discuss any queries on furloughing apprentices.
The Confederation of British Industry
“What you need to know about coronavirus and how it will impact your business”. This includes the very influential and highly regarded daily webinars hosted by Director General Dame Carolyn Fairburn.
The Entrepreneurs’ Forum
Links to valuable resources collected by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum team as requested by its members and partner network, including on People, Finances, Physical and Mental Wellbeing, Technology and Leadership.
Billed as containing “all the UK government information in one place”, this resource includes information on access to finance, employees, planning and leadership, Growth hub toolkits, and working from home.
Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI)
Businesses across the UK and around the world are sharing their expertise in everything from remote working to business planning. The team at NGI have collated some of the most useful resources, alongside its own content which is designed to help partner organisations and other businesses across North East England.
North East of England Chamber of Commerce
The NEECC brings together its latest advice and guidance for businesses, as well as some of its own FAQs.
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber has pulled together information about how it and others in the area are supporting all businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.
North East Growth Hub
The North East Growth Hub toolkit is intended to provide businesses with the latest advice, guidance and support available from government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include:
- Financial support available for businesses
- Official guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Advice on effective home working
- How to care for staff/suppliers/customers and prevent the spread of COVID-19
Links to valuable resources collected by the Pro-Manchester team, including national Government support and advice, regional support and cyber security advice.
The Innovation SuperNetwork, a “network of networks”, detail on their website what their team of Innovation Managers are offering during these difficult times, as well as details of funding available, and what is being offered by their numerous partners.
For the purposes of collective consultation, making someone redundant and/or changing terms and conditions of employment, by termination and re-engagement, is also classed as a dismissal by reason of redundancy and so has the exact same consultation requirements.