Applying for a Financial Order   

A financial order is a court order that deals with the financial aspects of a divorce or civil partnership dissolution. This includes:

  • orders for the sale or transfer of ownership of property
  • maintenance orders
  • pension sharing orders
  • orders for a change or variation in maintenance payments

If you have any questions about financial settlements on divorce or civil partnership dissolution, speak to the family law solicitors at JMW on 0800 652 5577 or complete our contact form.

The financial process

A financial order can be obtained either by agreement or within contested proceedings. Our solicitors will be on hand to advise you, assist with negotiations, formalise an agreement you have reached yourself or represent you in court proceedings - whatever your situation requires. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with all kinds of financial settlements.

Financial consent orders

If you and your spouse or civil partner have agreed what is going to happen to your finances, then a document known as a financial consent order should be prepared and submitted to the court for approval, together with a short summary of your respective financial circumstances. Unless the court has approved a financial consent order, then any financial agreement you have reached will not be final, binding or enforceable. This is the case even if you have agreed that neither of you will have any ongoing financial obligation towards the other (known as a ‘clean break’).

JMW can help by advising you as to the appropriate settlement for your situation, and by producing the necessary documentation to ensure the settlement is final and binding.

Contested proceedings

If financial matters are not agreed and it has not been possible to resolve any disputed issues through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or collaborative law, either party can make an application to the court.

This will start a process whereby the exchange of financial disclosure is formalised and timetabled. Both parties will have to complete a financial statement known as a Form E and provide supporting documentation. The court will also fix a date for a hearing known as a first appointment, at which the court will assess what further information is needed (such as expert reports and/or witness statements) and what questions each party should be permitted to ask arising from the other party’s Form E.

The court process is geared towards trying to reach a settlement without a contested final hearing. To try and make this happen, the court will hold a hearing known as a financial dispute resolution hearing or FDR, at which the judge will act like a sort of mediator and encourage the parties to settle by listening to what offers they have made so far and by providing guidance. If this does not result in a resolution, a contested final hearing will usually be scheduled and the FDR judge will play no further role in the process.

We have acted for clients from all walks of life involved in many different types of financial dispute. Our lawyers will do everything possible to help you reach an agreement before a final hearing to keep your costs to a minimum. However, rest assured that if your case does proceed to a final hearing, we will fight hard to ensure that you achieve the right result for you and your family.

Contact JMW

If you would like to speak to an experienced family law solicitor about any element of the financial process, get in touch with the team at JMW today on 0800 652 5577 or get in touch using our enquiry form.

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  Divorce Process
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