Divorce financial settlement: 10-step process
Agreeing on the financial settlement of a divorce acts as a key milestone in the process of negotiation of a divorce from your partner.
There are some couples who agree with each other in order to decide on the division of their assets – without the need of going to any court. A solicitor then drafts a ‘consent order’ that both parties then sign for making this financial settlement legally binding,
You are required to send this to the court with a completed Form A (‘Notice of an application for a financial order’), a Form D81 (‘Statement of information for a consent order in relation to a financial remedy’), and fees.
There are a large number of couples who fail to agree on a divorce financial settlement and then they end up letting the court decide the final result for them.
In the majority of the cases, this process consists below mentioned 10 steps. There are chances of reaching an agreement at any point in the process, which then renders it normal to agree and sign a legally binding court order in order to confirm the details.
Notice of application – Form A
You can start off the process of financial settlement by sending a completed Form A (‘Notice of an application for a financial order’).
First Directions Appointment date
It is on the part of the court to set out a date for the First Directions Appointment (FDA). The judge uses this meeting for considering the information needed by each side for the creation of the divorce financial settlement.
Financial statement – Form E
Each of the parties then sends a Form E (Financial Statement) to the court, at least five weeks before the FDA. Both the parties can also send a copy to each other.
Following documents are filed two weeks before the FDA:
A concise statement of issues.
A chronology of events.
A questionnaire to address issues arising from the Form E.
A Form G is filed in order to inform the court that whether the FDA meeting can be combined with the Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) meeting. Typically, the FDA meeting takes place before the FDR meeting.
Costs – Form H
In order to list any costs that they may have incurred, each party sends the court a completed Form H just before the FDA meeting,
FDA meeting at court
The judge decides on the valuations and other evidence that must be provided along with the questions that must be answered by each party in respect of the divorce financial settlement.
For the divorce financial settlement, both the sides answer questionnaires, prepare evidence and submit proposals to the court. They also submit a second Form H that lists updated costs.
The judge tries to let both the parties reach a financial settlement. In the majority of the cases, divorcing couples settle at this stage or soon afterwards. If this is not the case, then the judge sets the date for a final hearing.
At this stage, the negotiations proceed between the two sides, incorporating revised proposals for settlements which are then sent to the court and to the other party.
If the parties fail to reach an agreement and after the updated costs have been submitted on a Form H1, a new judge takes up the decision on a financial settlement.