When a husband and wife cannot agree a financial settlement on divorce one of them will make a financial remedies application to the court, asking the court to decide the matter.
Obviously, the court cannot decide what would be an appropriate settlement without full details of both parties’ means. The parties are therefore required to complete a financial statement, setting out details of their income, outgoings and assets. The statement is known as a ‘Form E’.
The parties must exchange copies of the Form E and file it with the court on a date set by the court, which will be not less than 35 days before the First Directions Appointment.
The Form E can be quite a daunting document, so here are six tips to help you complete it.
1. Read through the whole form before you begin completing it, paying particular attention to the notes on the form, especially the warning on the front page that you have a duty to the court to give a full, frank and clear disclosure of all your financial and other relevant circumstances.
2. Once you have been through the form you will know what information you will need to complete it. Gather together all of the required information before completing the form. Adding information later may require amending the form in more than one place.
3. Similarly, the form requires you to produce various documents, as set out in the schedule at the end of form. Gather those documents together before completing the form (you may need to request certain documents, such as pension valuations). If you are not able to obtain any documents in time for filing the form with the court, tick the ‘To follow’ box on the schedule.
4. When completing the form don’t be tempted to miss items out, or to undervalue items – doing so could lead to you incurring further costs down the line, and could even lead to any final order that the court makes being set aside.
5. Perhaps the most important part of the form is section 5, in which you tell the court what order you are seeking, if you are able to do so (you may not be able to do so, as you may not be sufficiently aware of other party’s means). Whatever you say here will obviously have a bearing upon any final order that the court may make, so you should really seek advice before completing this section. Which leads us to…
6. Lastly, take legal advice! Form E is perhaps the most important document in a financial remedies application. It may, in theory at least, be designed for completion by a layperson, but it really needs the input of an expert lawyer, in all but the simplest of cases. We can find you an expert that works with you on our digital platform. For more information, call us on 020 3904 0506, or click here, and fill in the form.
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