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Financial disclosure relates to the documents you provide during a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership that evidence your individual financial position. It is a key part of divorce/dissolution proceedings when parties are trying to reach an agreement in respect of how the matrimonial assets should be divided between them. Financial disclosure will be requested from both parties whether negotiations are taking place directly, through solicitor negotiation, in mediation or through the court.
Both parties will usually each complete a financial statement called a Form E. The Form E details that person's financial circumstances and supporting documentation is attached as evidence to the Form E, such as valuations of properties, mortgage redemption statements, copy bank statements, wage slips, business accounts, tax returns, cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs) for pensions etc.
It is important to remember that all assets and liabilities fall into the "matrimonial pot" for division and not just those which are in the parties' joint names. Collating financial disclosure may take a while, but it is vital that full and frank disclosure is provided by both parties to provide a comprehensive understanding of the assets and liabilities involved.
Once collated, the financial disclosure for each party will be exchanged with the other, and thereafter each party can raise any questions they have regarding the information provided. Once all additional documents and information have been supplied, the parties can start their negotiations and move towards reaching agreement on the appropriate division of the matrimonial pot.
If agreement is reached, it is formalised in a document known as a Consent Order. The Consent Order is signed by both parties and sent to the court for consideration and approval. The court only has jurisdiction to consider a Consent Order on or after Decree Nisi in divorce proceedings has been pronounced.
Once approved by the court, the Consent Order is legally binding on the parties. In most circumstances, we usually advise parties to implement the terms of the Consent Order only after it has been approved by the court. We also usually advise that Decree Absolute be applied for after the Consent Order has been approved by the court. However, this does not apply to all divorces so it is important to seek legal advice at the outset of the divorce proceedings, not just on how the matrimonial assets should be divided, but on the timing of implementation of the agreed terms because every case is different.
For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.Back to Law Articles