How to prepare for a financial dispute resolution hearing

If you are going through a divorce, you need to ensure that a financial order is made to prevent claims against you in the future. A financial dispute resolution hearing is a private court hearing at which you and your former partner will try to reach an agreement over issues such as property, finances and maintenance. This agreement can then be made into a legally binding order.

We take a look at how to prepare for this important day and what to expect.

Financial disclosure

In dealing with financial matters on divorce, the court requires both parties to make full financial disclosure. This means listing all assets, liabilities, income and expenditure on a document known as Form E.

This is a comprehensive form covering all financial information. Even if you intend to settle your financial affairs amicably and without asking the court to intervene, you will generally be advised to complete Form E. It is a way of ensuring that both parties approach negotiations on an open and honest basis. This in turn means that the court can ensure that both parties’ financial needs are met and that they have as much security as possible for the future.

As well as financial information, the form also requests details of any children involved, their financial needs and your own needs. Your family lawyer will generally complete the form on your behalf with your approval and assistance.

You may need to have some of your assets professionally valued at this stage, to include property and business interests.


Once all of the financial information has been disclosed, the parties will generally attempt to negotiate an agreed settlement. Their solicitors will set out offers and try and establish common ground wherever possible. Even if an agreement cannot be reached, it is important to go through this process to lay the groundwork for the hearing itself.

Setting out details of what you would like to achieve at this stage will help the judge understand your point of view and give them a basis to work from when suggesting possible solutions.

The financial dispute resolution hearing

This is generally the second court hearing in respect of the financial aspects of a divorce, taking place after an initial hearing to establish the extent of the couple’s assets and liabilities.

The financial dispute resolution hearing or appointment is a chance for both parties, via their legal representatives, to negotiate a financial settlement with the input of a family court judge. Prior to the hearing, you will generally have attempted to settle matters by making offers and counter-offers. The judge will consider these as well as going through the information provided in Form E.

The hearing is ‘without prejudice’, meaning that the information discussed cannot later be used in any court proceedings. This is intended to encourage open and meaningful negotiations and enable the parties to put forward their best offers for settlement.

Where an agreement is reached at the hearing, the judge will put this into a legally binding order. If matters are not agreed upon, then negotiations can continue over the coming weeks, but it may be necessary to have a final hearing, at which the judge will make a financial order. This will be a different judge to the one who heard the financial dispute resolution hearing.

Contact us

Dealing with financial matters during a divorce can be extremely stressful. At Tayntons, we understand the pressure you are under and we will do all we can to make the process as easy as possible for you.

If you would like to speak to one of our expert family law solicitors, email us at, call us on 0800 158 4147 or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email

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