If it is not possible to reach an amicable financial agreement with your ex-partner either through communication or mediation, then you can take the matter to a Financial Dispute Resolution through the court.
To start the process requires form A -this is fairly straightforward 2 page form which I can quickly complete for you
To help you keep costs to a minimum I help you put the required financial information correctly onto Form E (over 20 pages), and to summarise the current position and the proposed position on income outgoings and capital.
If you don’t want to have any part in completing the forms then I can complete them for you. But where I can help to minimize the stress and cost – I will.
This will activate your finance application. The court will list a First Appointment (“FA”)which is served by the court on your ex-partner (known as”the respondent”) to take place 12 to 16 weeks later.
This a full financial disclosure required document that seeks to ensure both parties are kept as far as possible on equal footing. Its purpose is to help the Judge to get a clear picture of each party’s financial situation with view to reaching a settlement.
A simultaneous exchange of financial information on form E must occur not less than 35 days before the FA and will cover information including:
- Life policies
- Property valuations
I assist you with the form completion to help you save costs. Or I can complete it for you.
Designated documents must be attached to this form and all must be filed and served to each side. Disclosure is an essential part of the process. Once received, each side can ask questions on the form E and request for further documents.
What happens once form E is complete?
No later than 14 days before the FA, each party must file and send the following documents to the court. I can assist with this process:
- Concise statement of issues in dispute
- Chronology detailing events in order, that relate to the relationship and financial history
- Questionnaire indicating what further disclosure is needed, and why OR a statement confirming that no further information is required
- Form G stating whether they are in a position to use some or all of the FA as an Financial Dispute Resolution hearing
Confirmation that relevant notice provisions have been complied with are filed and served to the respondent – for example notice to mortgage rules, pension funds etc
To keep costs down it is vital that this information is completed and filed correctly – all of which I help you to do. Sometimes, a resolution can be sought at the FA.
What happens at the FA?
The main intention is to define the issues and save costs. Attended by both parties, the hearing is conducted by a District Judge who will determine what documents or further information should be produced, making such directions as are necessary.
An application may be made for maintenance pending suit.
The 2nd hearing – Financial Dispute Resolution (“FDR”)
This is effectively court monitored conciliation to achieve settlement through discussion and negotiation. Both parties must attend the FDR. Settlement hearings are first held in a private room where each party’s lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement.
I use my negotiating skills to achieve the best settlement possible, both for you and any children. The judge may well be prepared to give an early, but considered neutral view of your case to help reach a settlement and avoid a contested final hearing.
With the extensive experience I have, I will endeavour where possible to avoid your case going to a full hearing. It can prove costly and there are no guarantees.
If matters do go to a full hearing before the judge, it’s usual for both parties to attend to give evidence. A barrister(“Counsel” )will normally be required – which will escalate costs.
It is in effect your day in court but, I urge caution. You may well end up getting a decision that neither of you wanted. Plus a huge amount of costs to pay for.
Facing a financial dispute during your divorce?
Professional advice early on will prevent you from worrying unnecessarily. I can arrange appointments from 8am – 7pm weekdays either at my home office in Barnes, SW London or at a place of your choice.
Not running an expensive office means I can keep my fees extremely competitive.
Telephone 020 813 30153 to discuss or complete the contact form below.