When you divorce, your financial affairs need to be dealt with as a separate process.
If you cannot come to an agreement with your ex, then you can ask a judge to settle the matter. This involves making a financial application to the court. Even if you do both agree on financial provision, the court can put this into a legally binding order, which will help prevent difficulties in the future should one party change their mind.
There are a number of financial orders that the court can make, including a consent order, agreeing to division of assets, and a clean break order, where there are no assets to be split and the court can free the parties of any future claims over each other. Other orders can be made to deal with pension sharing, property, maintenance and lump sum payments.
There are a number of steps in obtaining a financial settlement, as follows:
You will need to attend an initial Mediation Information Assessment Meeting by way of an introduction to the mediation process. This may help you reach agreement with your ex. If not, you will be issued with form FM1 which should be attached to your application, confirming that you have tried the mediation route.
- Completing the application form
The relevant form can be downloaded from the government website HERE. Known as Form A, it is the standard application for financial provision and is where you should detail your request, for example for maintenance or a share of any property. The form needs to be sent to the court together with two copies and the court fee of £255.
- Sending the application to your ex
The court will open a case, allocate a number and return two copies of financial application to you. One of these needs to be served on your ex. The court will also notify you of a hearing date and give you a list of any directions they may have including information they need you to provide.
- Providing financial information
Both you and your ex will need to complete Form E, available HERE, giving details of your finances. You should both send a copy to the court and to each other. The copy sent to your ex should also include supporting evidence, such as bank statements, credit card statements, payslips and investment information. You are then entitled to raise questions on your ex’s Form E and the court will also ask you to provide information such as dates of your birth, marriage, the births of any children and divorce as well as a list of any issues to be agreed.
The matter will proceed to a first hearing, and from then on the court will schedule further hearings and requests for information as needed.