The majority of our work at The Divorce Surgery involves assisting couples with negotiating a fair and amicable settlement of their finances. Many couples are surprised that even when seeking advice from The Divorce Surgery on the likely outcome of their financial settlement, we require much of the same level of financial disclosure as would be required if pursuing a negotiated settlement through solicitors and/or the court process.
When financial remedy proceedings are commenced, each party is required to separately fill in a form called Form E. This is a form which includes disclosure of all your financial assets, even those you may not consider to be matrimonial assets. In summary, it is necessary to determine the size of the matrimonial ‘pot’ before it can be determined how it should be shared between the parties.
In much the same way as a court needs full and frank disclosure to make an informed decision on what is a fair settlement, we ask you to complete the Form E so that the barrister advising you has a full understanding of the financial circumstances surrounding your case, in order to give an informed assessment of what is likely to be considered a realistic outcome for you and your partner.
It also gives you both the reassurance that you have both provided full and frank disclosure. The Form E is an ‘open’ document, which means that it can later be disclosed in court proceedings if it is alleged that one of you has lied about the extent of your assets. By signing the document you are confirming not only to each other, but also to the court, that your financial disclosure is true, complete, and accurate.
A word of warning: the Form E can appear rather daunting at first glance.
However, don’t panic! It is a relatively self-explanatory document. Whilst it may require a good deal of time to fill in, it isn’t complex by any means.
Section 1: There is an opening section which gathers information about you, your children and your living arrangements;
Section 2: There is a section for financial information. This includes:
Section 3: Information on the income and capital needs and the needs of any children living with you.
Section 4: An opportunity to declare any significant information or changes likely to occur relating to your finances.
Section 5: An opportunity to highlight the relevant issues you think the court must take into account when deciding how to divide up finances.
There are some notable differences however with how we approach the financial disclosure process:
If you have more questions about this topic or any other legal issues arising on divorce or separation, please do get in touch as we are always happy to help. You can call us on 0203 488 4475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.