Untangling the financial relationship of separating couples can be complex and challenging. Our specialist team will guide you very carefully and advise you on how best to proceed.
Family circumstances vary so much that each case needs to be assessed carefully – not just in identifying and valuing the assets but also taking into account the individual circumstances involved which can impact on how one deals with disclosure etc. Our specialist team will maximise your position at all times.
The Matrimonial Causes Act
The Matrimonial Causes Act gives the court the power to make final orders relating to the family finances on divorce.
Such powers include the ability to make Property Adjustment Orders, Lump Sum Orders, Pension Orders and Maintenance Orders. It is often possible to agree a financial settlement on divorce without contested proceedings and to present to the court an agreed order for its approval.
Where agreement cannot be reached (either in mediation or through solicitor negotiations) a formal application can be issued which does not mean that the parties are destined for trial.
Going to Court for Property Settlement
There are three key stages in the process, each marked with a court attendance but an agreed order can be presented at any time up to or at each stage thereby ending the process.
At the second stage hearing (a Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing) the court becomes actively involved in assisting the parties to reach agreement by hearing the various points of view and giving the court’s opinion on the key issues between the parties.
Everything said at a 2nd stage hearing is without prejudice and if agreement is not reached the matter is listed for trial. However, the District Judge who presided over the second stage hearing cannot hear the trial and all papers for the FDR are returned to the parties so that the trial judge starts afresh.
The majority of cases do not proceed to trial.
Our specialist Family team will ensure that if your case does go to trial you are in the best position to obtain the outcome you require.