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Divorce Financial Settlements

Our divorce lawyers are highly experienced in achieving fair financial settlements during divorce and separation, with particular expertise in dealing with high-value settlements and complex assets. We can also advise on the application of nuptial agreements during divorce.

Wherever possible, we will seek to agree a settlement away from the Court, but we are also very experienced in conducting Financial Remedy proceedings through the Court, so as to ensure the best available financial settlement for you, no matter what approach is required.

Financial Dismissal Order – no assets

Divorce or dissolution proceedings will bring your marriage or civil partnership to an end but will not resolve your financial claims against each other. Future potential financial claims remain open unless they are formally dismissed by the Court.

Where there is no property or finances to resolve or you have already agreed how to divide your assets and you wish to prevent your husband or wife from having financial claims against you in the future we recommend that you obtain a Clean Break Order.

A member of our specialist team can advise you of the implications of a Clean Break Order and the procedure to obtain one. We can prepare an application for a Clean Break Consent Order and summary of your finances, ask your husband or wife to complete their financial summary and file the documents with the Court. 

Financial Order with agreed division of assets

Divorce or dissolution proceedings will bring your marriage or civil partnership to an end but will not resolve your financial claims against each other. Future potential financial claims remain open unless they are formally dismissed by the Court.

Where there are assets, property or pensions to resolve within the divorce proceedings and you have already agreed how to divide those assets and you wish to prevent your husband or wife  from financial claims against you in the future you may wish to obtain a clean break order.

A member of our specialist team can advise you of the implications of a Clean Break Order and the procedure to obtain one.  We can prepare an application for a Clean Break Order and summary of your finances, ask your husband or wife to complete their financial summary and file the documents with the Court.  

When the division of assets is not agreed

Unfortunately, it is not always possible for separating couples to reach agreement about how to divide their assets.

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce is resolving the ownership of the family home, dividing savings and pensions and the payment of maintenance. This is often the most complicated part of the divorce process.

Where agreement cannot be reached the Court has wide powers to make orders about the family assets including maintenance, property, lump sum and pension sharing orders.

An order of the court can only be made once your divorce reaches the conditional order stage and the terms of an order can only take effect following the granting of the final order in your divorce. An order can be made following negotiations between Solicitors or at Court by agreement and is known as a “Consent Order”. If agreement cannot be reached an order can be made by the Court after a contested hearing.

We will meet with you at the beginning of your case to explore ways to try to settle your matter and we can negotiate on your behalf with your husband/wife or their solicitor. We can discuss your options which can include negotiations between solicitors, Mediation, and Collaborative Law before deciding whether to make an application to Court.

We will help you to deal with your financial disclosure on a voluntary basis which is often provided on the standard Court form called a Form E. The Form E is a financial statement which sets out all of your relevant financial information. If it is not possible to agree to exchange voluntary disclosure or if negotiations do not lead to an agreed settlement, then your matter is likely to have to proceed through the Court.

Court proceedings are started by either party by making an application for Financial Remedy with the Court. This is an application asking the court to consider both yours and your husband/wife’s or Civil Partner’s financial positions. Filing the application starts off a standard court process. After 16 weeks a First Directions Appointment (FDA) is listed. Prior to the first hearing, there is provision of the filing and exchange of the court financial disclosure Form E and there is also provision for the filing of additional supporting documentation which we can advise you upon and prepare on your behalf.

At the First Directions Appointment the court will give directions about the progression of your case, which may involve obtaining experts reports, such as a Surveyor to value the family home, or for an Actuary to report upon division of pension funds. It is likely that each party will have asked questions about the other’s Form E and the court will direct for responses to those questionnaires to be filed.

The Court will list the application for a further hearing known as a “Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing” (FDR). This hearing is listed with the intention of being able to settle matter in the hope of avoiding a final hearing, when the Judge will have to decide the outcome. At the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing, both parties summarise the most important aspects of their case to the Judge and set out their offers of settlement. The Judge should then give a view about settlement and will encourage the parties to enter into further negotiations at court.

If settlement cannot be achieved the application will be determined by the Judge at a final hearing. Both parties will give evidence at this hearing and the Judge will make a decision about how the assets are to be divided between the parties.

Settlement is encouraged throughout this Court process. If agreement can be reached a Consent Order can be drawn up and filed at any time during the court proceedings.

If settlement can be reached, this is a much more cost-effective way of resolving matters. However, there are some circumstances in which settlement cannot be achieved and, if this is the case, we will advise and support you throughout each step.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you by calling 01752 202201.