September 10, 2021
During a divorce, when issues arise over finances, both parties will be required to fully disclose their financial situation to each other.
Once full disclosure has been made, you can move on to negotiating a financial settlement. The more efficiently the disclosure stage of the divorce is dealt with, the quicker and more cost-effective the process of agreeing a settlement will be.
Why financial disclosure is important
In making a financial order in a divorce case, the court will aim to divide assets fairly between the parties, ensuring that they both have sufficient funds for their future needs. It is sometimes the case that the parties are not fully aware of the extent of the assets held by their spouse, for example, where assets may have been concealed or where business interests are worth more than anticipated.
In order to make a financial order that is fair, the court needs to know what assets are owned by the couple. If assets remain hidden, then it may be open to the other party to return to the court in the future and ask it to amend the order.
Making financial disclosure
It is a good idea to put together the necessary documents that will provide evidence of your financial situation early on in the proceedings to avoid a long, drawn-out process. It will also mean that you will be able to meet any deadlines for disclosure that could be imposed by the court.
If you ask us to represent you, we will advise you of the documents that you should put together and help you collate them so that they clearly set out your financial situation. This will include evidence of amounts owed on a mortgage, a professional valuation of property and any business and the value of holdings such as shares, insurance policies and pensions. Future expenditure will also need to be estimated.
The information is generally submitted on a Form E: Financial statement for a financial order. The form is used when court proceedings have been issued but can also be used where disclosure is made on a voluntary basis. The form is detailed and as well as requiring documentary evidence in support you will also need to fill in personal details relating to your marriage, any children you may have and how you wish the assets to be shared.
What happens if your spouse refuses to disclose their assets?
If your partner does not voluntarily disclose their financial situation, mediation may help. If disclosure is still not made, then the court can be asked to make an order requiring disclosure to be made within a certain timeframe.
The court may draw adverse inferences from a failure to provide full disclosure. There is also a risk that an order may be made that the party who has not provided full information is to pay the legal costs of the other party.
It is important that financial disclosure is accurate and complete. When filling in Form E you will be required to sign a Statement of Truth. If the information is inaccurate, it could damage your case or have implications for your financial settlement.
At Tayntons Solicitors, we can represent you to ensure that all of your assets are correctly valued and included. We can also assess your spouse’s Form E and ask relevant questions to ensure that you have a full picture of their matrimonial assets.
Our matrimonial lawyers are expert negotiators and can work on your behalf to agree on a good financial settlement that will provide for you and give you certainty for the future.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert family law solicitors, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0800 158 4147 or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.