Financial Disclosure In Divorce
- What is financial disclosure in divorce and family law?
What solicitors mean by finance disclosure is where the parties disclose their finances to each other, providing details of all their assets, which includes pensions, liabilities, the amount of income received from all sources, and their expected future needs. The goal is to ensure the best opportunity to distribute finances in divorce or separation fairly.
- what will I get from the marital assets?
Assets in divorce will be shared out between you and your spouse. The amount each party receives will depend on their financial situation. The law requires that each person gets a fair settlement that meets their financial needs. Although it is generally the starting point, finances in separation or divorce might not necessarily be split 50/50.
- Is full financial disclosure necessary?
Ultimately, yes. If you or your spouse do not provide a complete and honest financial disclosure, it becomes challenging to have meaningful negotiations regarding settlement and creates delays and additional costs.
- Can I refuse disclosure? What if my spouse does not want to disclose their assets?
If one party refuses to disclose their finances voluntarily, the court may have to intervene with financial remedy proceedings which will oblige both parties to do so. If you try to hide assets, then your financial agreement may be challenged in the future. If it is proved that you have been dishonest, you may find that you have committed contempt of court or possibly even fraud. If this is the case, the court can make you go through the whole process again, order a new settlement, order you to pay all legal costs, fine you, or even imprison you.
- Do I have to disclose my new partner’s assets?
If you are divorcing and living with a new partner, this must be revealed to your former partner when disclosing assets in divorce. Your new partner’s financial circumstances must also be disclosed. The reason for this is that if you are cohabitating or planning to, with a new partner, your income needs will be reduced as there are two of you contributing to the cost of living.
- What documents do I need to provide for financial disclosure?
Evidence will need to be provided for all the income, assets, and liabilities you have. For example, mortgage statements, payslips, bank statements for the past twelve months, pension valuations, and statements for all investments.
- Do I receive the other party’s full financial disclosure list?
Yes, once the finance disclosure is complete, the information will be exchanged with your spouses’ solicitors, and they will receive a copy of yours. Then you are able, along with your solicitor, to go through their financial disclosure to make sure your spouse has been frank, and all the documentation is correct. At this point, more evidence can be requested, or clarification sought.
- What is ‘Form E’, and do I need a solicitor to complete it?
A ‘Form E’ is a detailed financial statement form that asks for specifics on your income, assets, and liabilities. You will also need to answer questions about your personal circumstances, such as whether you have children, details regarding your marriage and how you would like the assets to be split.
It is possible to fill out the ‘Form E’ on your own, but it is best to seek the help of a family lawyer since it is complex and can be difficult to complete correctly.
- What happens after financial disclosure in divorce?
You and your solicitor will work out which assets are matrimonial, such as the marital home, and non-matrimonial, such as an inheritance received after separation. These need to be agreed upon with your spouse. If not possible, the court can do this.
After that, you need to reach an agreement with your spouse. If you cannot agree to a financial settlement through negotiation or mediation, the court will decide what it thinks is the fairest allocation of assets.
- Is it possible to agree a financial settlement with my spouse without providing financial disclosure?
It is possible that you and your spouse can come to a financial agreement between yourselves directly and can have the agreement then formalised by way of a consent order. However, the agreement would be entered into without having seen each other’s full financial information and without knowing the full extent of each other’s financial positions. Therefore, it may not be possible to confirm whether your agreement is fair.
Contact our family law solicitors about financial disclosure today.
At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we are specialist divorce lawyers with a high level of experience in financial disclosure.
We inspire trust and confidence in our clients by offering high-quality advice in a clear, straightforward and compassionate manner and working tirelessly to achieve the right result.
By Akash Soni