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 Finances - Court Procedures

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If you cannot come to an agreement about financial issues then family mediation involving finances could be the answer, but if you choose not to take this root it may be that the only way that you can resolve these, if you are separating and are married, is to divorce or judicially separate.

If there are divorce proceedings, or judicial separation proceedings, or indeed civil partnership dissolution proceedings, then the Court can be asked to make orders about money when agreements cannot be reached. It does not matter who asks the Court to make orders about money.

The current Court fee is £255.00.

When an application to the Court is made, the Court will fix or “list” a hearing date. This hearing is usually in 2 or 3 months time, sometimes a bit longer. The Court will ask that certain documents be prepared before specified dates before the hearing. This is to make sure that everyone is ready for the hearing, and is not un-prepared. The documents that the Court asks you and your spouse to prepare include a pre-printed form called a Financial Statement, or Form E. Forms E are exchanged before the Court hearing date. They give detailed financial information about the money that you have, and the money you would like.

The first hearing is called a First Appointment. If there are some issues that need clarifying from the Forms E, or valuations of properties or businesses need to be obtained, the District Judge will order that these issues be dealt with in a specified time. The District Judge will then list a second hearing, a month or so after the first, called a Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing or “FDR”. The first hearing may last no more than a few minutes.

The FDR hearing may be much longer, and you will be asked to attend Court early to give time to try and reach an agreement. The District Judge will be told what the issues are, and how far you are each apart in terms of negotiations, and may give an indication as to what he/she feels is right. Negotiations are sometimes lengthy. If no agreement is reached, the District Judge will list your case for a third hearing when evidence will need to be given by you and your husband/wife.

If an agreement is reached, this will be put into a formal Court Order. Once an agreement is reached at Court, you cannot change your mind. .