If you and your partner are going through a divorce or a civil partnership dissolution and cannot reach an agreement on how to sort out your finances such as division of property and assets, you can apply to the Courts who are able to make a range of orders for cash payments, transfer of property or other assets, maintenance and pension sharing, known as Ancillary Relief.
Don’t forget that here at Bonallack and Bishop, that first phone call, and your first 30 minute, face-to-face or on Zoom, are both FREE.
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The Court process for settling divorce finances
The procedure is as follows:
• The Courts will impose a timetable and you may be advised to issue an application to ensure that negotiations do not become too protracted
• After the application has been issued you and your partner should complete a huge and comprehensive document entitled Form E (which sets out all your financial details) and also produce copies of documents such as bank or building society statements, pay slips, valuations and accounts. Don’t worry, your divorce solicitor can help you with this horrendous form.
Both parties are expected to provide what is referred to as “full and frank disclosure“. That means that you are under an obligation to be honest about your financial position – and should not try to hide assets. If you fail to comply with full and frank disclosure, the court have a number of powers to make you comply and can penalise you if you fail to provide full details of your assets
• The Courts will then fix a First Directions Appointment (FDA) before a District Judge for twelve weeks following issue of the application, in order to identify the issues between you and make orders such as dealing with the valuation of your assets
• If an agreement cannot be reached, the next stage is a Financial Dispute Resolution appointment (FDR) which you both must attend
• With the assistance of your divorce lawyer, the District Judge will attempt to assist you on reaching an agreement on your finances and usually indicate what they think would be a reasonable outcome
• Should agreement still not be reachable at this stage a final hearing with a different District Judge will be set. This may well involve a wait of several months, however if an agreement is reached at any time prior to the final hearing, a note of the agreement (Consent Order) can be submitted to the Judge for approval
Want to understand more about Divorce and Money? How family assets are divided? Click here to read more about Divorce and Finances.
Divorce finances – could family mediation be the answer?
We are big fans of the whole mediation process. We are absolutely convinced, that for a large number of people, mediation simply provides a better alternative to the traditional court service.
Why? In our experience it’s usually quicker, cheaper, and in emphasising the need for compromise on agreement, reduces bitterness and relationship breakdown, and really helps children – who know that their parents have worked together to come up with a fair solution.
Want to know more about how this form of alternative dispute resolution could work for you? Click here to find more about family mediation
Divorce finances – what is a clean break?
Sometimes financial arrangements can be settled through a ‘clean break’, i.e. a lump sum payment and/or property transfer which effectively ends the financial relationship between you and your partner. Nevertheless, the welfare of any dependent children will always be given primary consideration and maintenance can be ordered to one party by the court on either an open-ended (during joint lives or until the person receiving the payments remarries or enters a new civil partnership) or fixed period basis.
It is very important to consult specialist Divorce Solicitors whilst negotiating a settlement as the process can be costly and time-consuming. Our team of dedicated family lawyers provide expert legal advice that will help secure your future financial position and well being. And the head of the family team is, as well as being a highly experienced solicitor, a serving District Judge – so you can rely on our team to really understand how the courts approach the question of divorce finances.
Click here to read more about divorce and how our family law solicitors can help you
What is a consent order – and why do I need one ?
A consent order is a very important aspect of your divorce, as it sets out the terms of how the assets of the marriage will be split.
Even if the Courts do not need to intervene in the formation of the agreement, they must still approve it to make the Consent Order legally binding (and very difficult to change – in general terms impossible to overturn on a certain highly specific circumstances apply).
It is important to realise that when if you get divorced, in the future you have the right to make financial claims against your ex-spouse; and your ex-spouse has the right to make financial claims against you – unless these are dismissed by means of a court order.
The worst scenario is having gone through divorce to then receive a letter from their former spouse’s Solicitor trying to make an additional financial claims against you. This could happen even if you have already sold the matrimonial home, split the proceeds equally and went on to live separate lives!
Prevention is certainly better than cure. Although the cost of a getting a Consent Order varies significantly depending on the complexities of the issues involved in its creation, it will be much more cost-effective to have a Consent Order in place from the outset. Litigation over matters that you thought were previously agreed can quickly become expensive.
Click here to read more about divorce finances following marriage breakup
Divorce – 12 key questions to help assess your legal options
Confused about what you want out of your relationship breakdown?
It’s a difficult emotional time and confusion is common response. Resolution, (the organisation for specialist family lawyers nationwide), have produced a really useful set of 12 crucial questions to ask yourself about divorce. Click here to read those key divorce questions.
Can’t Agree on the Divorce Finances? Make Sure You Get the Right Advice. Call Us Now
Safeguard your legal position – get in touch with our divorce lawyers today to find out how we can help reduce the stress that follows family breakdown.
- Just call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or one of our local office numbers;
SALISBURY (01722) 422300
FORDINGBRIDGE (01425) 652110
AMESBURY (01980) 622992
ANDOVER (01264) 364433
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