Reaching a financial agreement on Divorce
Reaching a financial agreement is the most important activity in any divorce, and sometimes it can be tedious and frustrating. This is because, one of the partners may want to get more than the other, or may not be willing to disclose all financial statements to his or her partner.
When you are undertaking any divorce, it is good to hire a solicitor: he ensures fairness in the exchange of financial disclosures, between you and your partner. As a couple undergoing the divorce, it is good.
First, you disclose all financial documents: bank statements, payslips, mortgage statements and others, so that your solicitor will be able to give you a just advice on a financial settlement.
There are several ways by which financial agreement on divorce can be reached:
This is the simplest way of arriving at a financial agreement. You exchange your financial statements freely, in the presence of a solicitor. If in the course of negotiation, an agreement is reached, the solicitor incorporates it in the Consent Order. You will be required to sign the Consent Order before it is sent to the court for determining.
Mediation will save you money and time, especially if you disclosed financial documents in good faith. A court order will be associated with a small fee, but the court may exempt you from the fee if the documents you submitted are approved to be true.
This occurs when you or your partner is not voluntarily willing to disclose financial documents. A mediator: an independent third party, will be hired to ensure you have a fair settlement. He will ensure you arrange for a mutual disclosure, and also help you in solving the disputes which might arise between you and your partner.
After mediation process, the mediator sends the proposed settlement scheme to the court, for approving and making of the court order. The court will only make its court order, if and only if, the proposal is accompanied with a Memorandum of Understanding between the partners.
A court proceeding will be the last resort if the mediator or the solicitor is unable to solve your case. Your case will be placed in the court, for the judge to decide your settlements, fairly.
This process is time-consuming, and it involves a lot of formalities: the court must first determine the welfare of the children, and then analyse rules and guidelines in the Matrimonial Causes Act, before they determine your case.
Court proceeding also has other formalities and procedures which must be followed: your solicitor sends an application of a court proceeding, and the court set the deadlines upon which, all financial and other useful documents must be submitted to the court.
The court will also set the date when you and your partner, are to attend for the First Appointment. After attending your First Appointment in the court, an agreement may be reached, and a Consent Order will be sent to the judge for approval. In some cases, your case my fail to be determined on the First Appointment, and the court will give appropriate guidelines on the case.
You and your partner will then be called for the second hearing: ‘Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing’(FDR) and the judge will decide the case as he or she sees it fair, according to Matrimonial Causes Act.
In case you fail to be content with the decision of the court at this stage, your solicitor may apply for the Final Hearing, where the court order will be final and irrevocable. Call us today to find out more.