As stated in the introduction, legal advice is vital whether financial issues can be agreed or not. The decree absolute does not terminate spouses obligations to each other. Therefore even if the divorce is finalised, applications can be made for financial help at any time thereafter. These are sometimes made many years later. The assets are then usually valued at the date of separation not the divorce. Negotiations are likely to be going on throughout the process. If agreement is reached and the Court approves then the agreement will be turned into a Consent Order. If it cannot be agreed then the Court procedure can be started by either party, but this does not stop an agreement being reached.
Either party files notice claiming Ancillary Relief using Form A - that party is known as the Applicant
Upon receipt Court fixes first appointment and serves notice to both parties
Interim Orders may be made if either party needs financial assistance prior to the final hearing
Form E is filed at least 35 days before first appointment. Statements of property and income are exchanged to which are attached
14 days before first appointment both parties must file and serve:
Both parties must produce a first Costs Estimate immediately before the first appointment
Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) aims to help parties reach agreement - if so the Judge may make appropriate consent order. If not final hearing date is set
Before Final Hearing both parties file and serve statement of open proposals explaining what they think the best solution is as well as comply with any directions from the FDR
At the Final Hearing the issues will be considered and a Court Order made. This will include one or a combination of the following:
Although it is possible to conduct your own divorce (see DIY divorce pages) when there are complications in respect of finances or orders related to children, it is recommended that legal advice be taken.