Financial Settlements and Divorce
When you’re going through a separation or divorce, we can help you to reach the best possible financial settlement with your former partner.
There are multiple stages in the financial settlement process:
Stage 1: Negotiations and disclosure
The initial stage allows us to get your finances ready to share openly with your spouse. This lets you reach a legally binding financial agreement as quickly as possible. This stage is not voluntary, and both you and your partner will have to provide full disclosure. This stage will involve:
- Submitting a financial statement
- Exchanging information known as ‘disclosures.’
- We’ll negotiate a settlement and agree on the terms of the consent order.
- We’ll submit your consent order to the court.
The following services are not included in the financial settlement package, although we do offer these services separately.
- Advice or work in relation to divorce or children
- Making an application to the court for financial remedy – for the court to determine the financial assets
- Implementation of the consent order e.g. conveyancing work
Stage 2: First Directions Appointment (FDA)
The FDA stage only applies if the negotiations and disclosure stage has failed. Financial remedy proceedings need to be issued at this stage, so the court can understand all financial issues arising from your marriage and suggest a solution. During this stage:
- We will prepare your court application form
- We will update your financial statement form (also known as ‘Form E’)
- We’ll prepare your questionnaire and first appointment documents
- We’ll exchange your FDA documents
- We’ll attend the FDA, and represent you in court
Stage 3: The Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing
We only proceed to a financial dispute resolution hearing if an agreement can’t be reached with the two initial stages. The purpose of the FDR hearing is to give you and your former spouse the opportunity to settle everything by negotiation, sharing offers until you are both happy. During this stage:
- We will prepare your replies to the questionnaire and scrutinise your spouse’s questionnaire.
- We’ll instruct any necessary experts
- We’ll discuss proposals from your ex-partner (if they have submitted any)
- We can negotiate an agreement and file your consent order at court
- If matters are not agreed, then we will attend the FDR hearing
Stage 4: The Final Hearing
If you haven’t reached a decision, a final hearing will occur. At this stage control is taken away from you both and a final decision is made by your judge. You can present your case through facts and evidence, but they will decide how your financial assets will be divided.
During this stage:
- We will update your financial disclosures
- We’ll prepare any narrative statements and bundles that you need
- We’ll update your cost estimates
- We’ll prepare your open statement of proposals on your offer, along with instructions to your barrister
We can help you throughout the process of agreeing on a financial settlement, and make sure that you reach the best possible conclusion for all involved.