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By Ben Kennish

What is the Difference Between a Mesher and a Martin Order? Read on to Find Out the Answer!

Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, you may be surprised to hear that Mesher and Martin orders were all the more common. They’re not talked about – or used for that matter – as frequently nowadays, but that doesn’t make them any less of a relevance within the property industry.

The reason that they became less commonly used over time, was because there were a fair amount of difficulties and complexities found in using them.

The moment at which the issues started to arise with these orders, is actually when they were triggered – more often than not when it came to the act of selling a matrimonial home.

So what is a Mesher order, and what is a Martin order, and most pressingly, what is the difference between the two?

Read on to find out the answer, in full comprehensive detail!


First things First, what is a Mesher Order?

Before going any further, we’re going to get right to the point, by explaining exactly what a Mesher order is.

  • Very simply, a Mesher Order is a court order regarding divorce. One that involves children, which immediately makes it a more complex process.
  • The Mesher Order aims to regulate how a family home will be dealt with legally, following a divorce.
  • All of the principles that are used in the Mesher Order are based on case law. The order itself was created back in the 1980’s, and the name came from a person called Mesher being involved in the case.
  • But what is the purpose of a Mesher Order? Very simply, this is to protect the children in a marriage, and it aims to delay the sale of the family home.
  • This delayed sale will usually last up until a significant time, such as when the children either leave school, or full – time education. The aim is to provide them with the security of a home up until this point.
  • If not when the children either leave school or full – time education, it will be once they turn eighteen years of age. This will be decided on by the court depending on the personal situation of each individual case.
  • Even if this is the case, the order can actually be extended until the youngest child leaves higher education. As we said before, it’s dependent on different circumstances.
  • Another thing that can trigger a Mesher Order, would be one of the people living in the property remarrying.
  • In some cases, co – habiting can be set by the court for a defined set of time, which will trigger a Mesher Order.
  • Even though the property will remain in the name of both parties throughout this defined period of time, it will only be occupied by one party.


Got it. So what is a Martin Order?

Okay, so that’s a Mesher Order. Next up, we’re going to explain what a Martin Order entails.

  • A Martin Order is actually fairly similar to a Mesher Order. The main difference is that a Martin Order is used in a divorce that doesn’t involve children.
  • The married parties can have children, but if they’re over eighteen, then it doesn’t necessarily count.
  • The divorce court order actually remains fairly similar. This order allows one of the parties involved in the marriage to stay in the marital home. The reason for this? To postpone the sale of the property.
  • The Martin Order is similar to the Mesher Order, in that it comes from a case president.
  • Again, the name “Martin” comes directly from an old case, which was back in the 1970’s.
  • In this particular case, the “Martin Case”, the Court of Appeal actually maintained that the wife in the marriage could stay living in the marital home for the rest of her life.
  • This type of order is usually awarded in scenarios where one party in the divorce has no immediate use of the capital sums involved.
  • The most important time this is allocated, is when the partner who granted the Martin Order doesn’t have a sufficient sum of equity on the property in order to buy a new house.
  • These orders tend to be made when a Family Court comes to the conclusion that a wealthy spouse actually doesn’t need access to the capital locked in the home – and as we mentioned earlier that the less wealthy spouse would not be able to re – home themselves financially.
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So, as you can see, both are similar, but have very slight differences.


Now We Know What a “Mesher Order” and a “Martin Order” are, We Should Learn What the Differences Are Between Them. Right?

Absolutely correct. We have looked in some detail at the similarities and differences between these two legal orders, but we haven’t gone right into the depths of it.

Now is the time that we’re going to be doing exactly that.

  • The main difference between the “Mesher Order” and the “Martin Order”, is that children are usually involved in the “Mesher Order”, whereas the “Martin Order” is instructed to married couples who do not have children together.
  • One of the leading aims of the “Mesher Order” is to protect the children in the marriage, and their home, above everything else.
  • In both of these orders, there are similarities in the overall process. In both cases, the orders are actually incredibly similar, and the judge has similar powers.
  • So, in short, there are many similarities between the “Mesher Order” and the “Martin Order”. The thing that makes the two differ from one another, is the reasons behind each order.

Does that make sense? They’re pretty similar, but the defining difference above all else, is the involvement of children.

In Terms of Family Law, are there Any Other Safe and Workable Alternatives to the Mesher Order?

As we mentioned, nowadays both the “Mesher Order” and the “Martin Order” are used a lot less than they were in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Particularly the “Mesher Order”.

If it sounds problematic to you – which it does to many – you may be wondering whether or not there are any other safe and workable alternatives in family law to using the “Mesher Order”.

The answer is, yes there are. To finish up today, read on to find out exactly what these are.

  • In some cases, financially, you would be better off negotiating for all of the equity on the property in question.
  • The good thing about doing this, is that it will allow the party in question to refinance another property for the family, either sooner or later in the future.
  • You might be left asking, are you better off holding out for a “Transfer of Property Order”? This would actually give you all of the equity on the house.
  • The option of the “Mesher Order” is often offered to couples who have children and file for divorce.
  • However, in many cases, if you look into all of the options, you might find something better suited to your own individual circumstances. You’re always best off doing your research before committing to one thing.
  • We would fully recommend having an in – depth discussion with your solicitor in the first place, in order to come up with the best solution for both parties in the marriage, and of course, their children.
  • We would recommend trying to keep the situation as amicable as possible at all times – if not just for the ease of the situation, for the sake of the children involved too. It’s a difficult and confusing time for all involved, so don’t make it more difficult by fighting for the sake of fighting.
  • Remember that above all else, the only real winner in this situation is the solicitor – or solicitors. They’re the ones making money and maintaining business out of your situation.
  • When baring this in mind, we would strongly recommend thinking twice before going ahead and spending all of your home’s equity on legal fees. The more amicable and agreeable the two parties can be, the less likely you are to end up doing this.
  • The other options that would be available for a judge to use are as follows: Transfer of Property Orders, either Child or Spousal Maintenance Orders, and Lump Sum Orders. If you are unsure about what any of these entail, there is a wealth of information available on each online.
  • Failing that, you should make a point of asking your solicitor about what all of your options are, and what they feel the best would be for you financially. Only by doing this can you truly understand the ins and the outs of each option, and which of these is going to be the best for you, your spouse and of course, your children.
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Thank you for reading today. We hope we have helped you to better understand the “Mesher Order” and the “Martin Order”, what they entail, when they are used, and what the main similarities and differences are between them.



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