When a relationship breaks down, often one of the main concerns you will raise will be the future of your finances. Our team has significant expertise in dealing with complex financial issues, high value estates, business and international assets. We appreciate the need to make arrangements for both the short and the long term and we will always seek to resolve matters by agreement. However, we will never hesitate to pursue what is in your best interests should the circumstances require it.
Starting the process...
- In cases where an agreement can be reached, we will draft an Order setting out the terms, which will then be lodged with the Court following the Decree Nisi. Once these terms are approved by a Judge, the agreement will be made enforceable as an Order of the Court.
- In cases where agreement cannot be reached, or if one party is not prepared to disclose their financial information, an application to the Court will be necessary. This is called an application for "Ancillary Relief".
- Beware the "Remarriage Trap" - if either party remarries before making an application for Ancillary Relief it shall not then be open for that party to make such an application.
What happens next?
- Each party has an obligation to provide full and frank disclosure of their financial position. Failure to comply with this obligation may mean sanctions are imposed by the Court.
- This disclosure is carried out by completing a Form E which will include documents such as:
- Bank account statements
- Property valuations
- Details of mortgages
- Business Accounts
- More complex cases may involve the input of a financial expert to accurately value business assets or deal with elements of taxation. Whenever appropriate, a single expert will be jointly instructed with the costs being shared between the parties. The experts are independent and form an opinion based on their assessment of the facts.
- First Directions Appointment (FDA) - the purpose of this hearing is for the Judge to decide how the application should proceed.
- Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) - the main thrust of this meeting is negotiation. There will be a Judge on hand to advise and determine whether any agreement reached is reasonable. In the many cases, a settlement will be reached at this stage.
- Final Hearing - if an agreement has not yet been reached, there will be a hearing before a Judge, in which both parties present their case. It is then left to the Judge to draw up a reasonable solution.
- In all of the above hearings, both parties and their legal representatives must be in attendance.
Our role in supporting you...
Our team fully appreciate how daunting these steps will appear at first. We aim to be on hand to assist no matter what your query. We will make every effort to minimise the stress and address all of your concerns swiftly. We have extensive experience in guiding clients through this procedure. We positively encourage our clients to ask us questions - never be afraid to ask! It is of paramount importance to us that you fully understand the process at each stage.
What to do now
For confidential advice, further information or to see if we can offer you an initial fixed fee interview please contact us on 01622 815940 or use our online enquiry form.