Financial Remedy Court Procedure

Dawn Baker - Play video
Dawn Baker - Play video

Video length: 49s

Going through a Divorce can be difficult with a vast range of decisions to be made at a time when you and your family are undergoing a lot of stress. This can be exacerbated by the need to arrange property and finances, which can be a contentious issue.

When financial matters need to be settled as part of a Divorce and they cannot be resolved through mediation alone, a Financial Remedy Application (now also known as a Financial Order) can be made. This is a procedure to establish the division of money and property between the parties.

If you are going through this process, it is important to have expert legal advice to ensure that you are properly represented. The skilled team of solicitors at Forbes is able to provide advice and help you with your Financial Remedy Procedure to make sure your assets are settled fairly as part of your Divorce, while offering you the compassion and support you need at such a traumatic time.

Pre-Court Procedure

The first step is to lodge a document known as Form A with the Court in order to start Financial Remedy Procedure. Your solicitor can prepare this document on your behalf and they will be able to advise you of the Court fee payable. Once the Application is filed with the Court, we will also serve any relevant Mortgage Providers or Pension Companies where appropriate.

Both parties are obliged to offer full financial disclosure. This obligation is ongoing throughout the process and extends to a duty to disclose any material changes to either party's finances after initial disclosure has been given.

Once this is done, the Court will timetable your case, taking into account the following factors:

  • A date for when you and your former husband/wife will exchange financial documents (Form E).
  • A date for when Questionnaires (questions you wish to ask the Other Side for further information, a Chronology (detailing the relevant dates in your Marriage) and the Statement of Issues are to be filed with the Court. This usually needs to be 14 days before the First Appointment and is served upon your former husband/wife.
  • The date of the First Appointment (known as the FDA).

The First Appointment

The objective of the First Appointment is for the District Judge to discern if further information is required from either party so that they can establish if full disclosure has been made before negotiations begin to attempt to settle the financial issues.

The District Judge will also decide whether any other Directions need to be made, including the valuation of assets and the obtainment of expert information.

If a settlement is not reached at the First Appointment, the District Judge will set a date for the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing (FDR).

Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing

After any further information has been served upon each of the parties, they are each obliged to make proposals for the satisfactory settlement of their case. These should be filed with the Court before the FDR Hearing.

It is possible for a settlement to be reached before your FDR Hearing, but if it is not then you will try to reach one at the FDR appointment.

At the FDR hearing, the District Judge may indicate what they believe to be a reasonable conclusion to your case, but they will not impose an Order at this time. Instead, negotiations are encouraged and, if an agreement is reached, the District Judge can approve it. If an agreement is not reached, further Directions will be made in order to prepare the case for a Final Hearing.

Final Hearing

If an agreement is reached prior to the Final Hearing date, a Consent Order can be drawn up to formally outline the terms and be filed with the Court for approval.

If an agreement cannot be reached, further documents will need to be prepared and you may be represented by a Barrister in Court. You and your former husband/wife will give evidence to the District Judge and they will then decide how the finances should be separated and decide if any one party has an ongoing responsibility to financially support the other.

The Judge will make several Orders which can include:

  • The sale of any property.
  • The transfer of property ownership.
  • A Lump Sum order.
  • A Maintenance Order.
  • A Pension Sharing Order

The Judge will also be considering if a Clean Break can be made, which would mean you and your former husband/wife would have no financial claim against the other. Your solicitor will discuss possible Orders with you throughout your case.

Any children will be considered first and foremost in order to make their housing arrangements and decide on their maintenance. Other things taken into account will be:

  • Age.
  • Ability to earn.
  • Property and wealth.
  • Living expenses.
  • Standard of living.
  • Role within the Marriage/Civil Partnership.

How We Can Help

At Forbes Solicitors, we have an expert legal team, who have the necessary knowledge and skills in Divorce Law in order to advise you, including providing advice on the division of assets. We're sympathetic to the fact that this is a distressing time for you and your family, and so we will support you every step of the way.

Call us today on 0800 689 1058 or use our online enquiry form. We also welcome face-to-face consultations at our Accrington, Blackburn, Chorley, Manchester and Preston offices.

Family/Divorce

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