The process which leads to a financial agreement after divorce is set out below:
- Parties prepares and exchange financial disclosure by way of “Form E” documents with all relevant supporting evidence.
- The Parties lawyers will consider the disclosure with a view to advising on what may be an appropriate settlement.
- Parties will make offers/counteroffers to try and settle matters.
- If agreement is reached a consent order will be drafted and if signed by the Parties it will be filed by the court (current £50 fee) to have it sealed as an order. At this stage the parties divorce should have reached the Decree Nisi stage.
- If the court agrees the terms of the Consent Order it will be sealed but the court may raise concerns if they think the terms are one sided.
If the matter cannot be agreed at this stage, it is usual for the Parties to be referred to Mediation. If Mediation does not resolve matters, either party can make an application to court for a Judge to determine matters.
1. Applicant will file Form A with the Court and pays a court fee (currently £225).
2. The Court will send the sealed from with a Form C (Notice of First Appointment) and Form G (Notice of Response to First Appointment) and the Applicant will serve those documents on the Respondent. The Applicant will also complete and file the Form A.
3. Not less than 35 days before the First Appointment (“FA”), (which is a Court hearing) the Parties will each exchange and file with the Court a Form E.
4. Not less than 14 days before the FA, the parties will each exchange and file a Statement of Issues, a Chronology, a Questionnaire, setting out any questions they have of the others Form E. The Parties shall also serve a Form H (a Form H should be served before every hearing). The Form H sets out the level of legal fees you have incurred at each stage. The Parties shall also serve a Form G, stating whether they agree that the FA can proceed as a Financial Dispute Resolution (“FDR”) Hearing.
- The FA hearing is to try and define the issues in dispute and see if the case can be settled. If the case cannot be settled a timetable will be set to move to a final hearing.
- Not less than 7 days before the FDR each party shall send to court a copy of all without prejudice officer to settle.
- AT FDR the judge will seek to identify what is in dispute and see if the case can be settled. If not the matter will have to move to a Final Hearing. The Judge at FDR will NOT sit on the Final Hearing.
- At this stage decree nisi must be obtained.
- Not less than