Financial Issues

Divorce and Separation can be a very difficult process, particularly when resolving issues over finances. When dealing with financial division after a breakdown, the law requires consideration to be given to a number of factors including the needs of your children, as well as your individual contribution to the marriage. Every case will be decided upon its individual facts.

Walker Foster has in-depth expertise in resolving financial disputes and will advise you in detail about your options.

Procedure

You will normally be expected to attend a session with a Mediator before making an application to the Court. This is to determine whether the matter can be resolved without the intervention of the Court.

Both you and your partner are required to make full and frank disclosure of your financial circumstances. This includes providing full details of your income, outgoings, obtaining valuations of any assets, investments and property that you hold and valuations of any pension funds.

If you are not able to reach an agreement with regard to the division of the property or assets and you do apply to the Court, a timetable will be imposed.

Once your application has been issued, you will each be required to:-

  • Complete a Form E which is a document setting out all your financial details.
  • Produce copies of documents such as bank or building society statements, pay slips, valuations and accounts.

Within 12 weeks of issuing your application, the Court will fix a First Directions Appointment (FDA) before a District Judge who will identify the issues between you and make Orders such as dealing with the valuation of your assets. Each party will have the opportunity to ask questions with regard to the other’s financial disclosure at this time.

The next stage is the Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment (FDR). You and your partner are both required to attend this Court hearing, where the District Judge, with the assistance of the legal representatives, will try to help you reach an agreement on your finances. At the FDR, the Judge will usually indicate what he or she thinks would be a reasonable outcome.

If you are still unable to reach agreement, the case will be adjourned for a Final Hearing at a later date heard by a different District Judge. The Final Hearing may take place several months after the FDR. At anytime before the Final Hearing, it is possible to reach an agreement and draw up the terms of that agreement in a document called a Consent Order, for the Judge to approve.

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