How do you obtain a financial court order? banner


How do you obtain a financial court order?

  • Posted on

When a couple decide to separate or divorce the prospect of reaching agreement over who should start the divorce proceedings, and on what basis, as well deciding on the parenting arrangements for the children and how to split the equity in the family home as well as sorting out child support, maintenance and pensions can all seem a bit daunting.

The best London divorce solicitors recommend that you do not let things over face you and that you do not feel under pressure to resolve everything very quickly. After all there is a reason for the old adage about haste and repenting at your leisure. It is the opinion of top London divorce solicitors that the adage is just as true of decisions taken at the time of your separation or divorce.

If you are able to reach a financial agreement either through:

  • Direct discussions with your spouse; or
  • Solicitor negotiations or roundtable meetings; or
  • Mediation combined with a solicitor’s legal support; or
  • Arbitration

Then the next step is to convert your agreement into an agreed financial court order.

If you cannot reach an agreement financial court proceedings can be started and a judge will then decide how your assets are split and the judge will decide what is contained in the court order. That is why London divorce solicitors encourage divorcing couples to reach a financial agreement so that they are in more control of what goes into their financial order.

Sometimes couples question why they need to convert an agreement into a financial court order but the best London divorce solicitors would always advise getting the security of a financial court order so you can implement and enforce what you have agreed upon.

Steps to get a financial court order

To obtain a financial court order then are a number of things that your London divorce solicitor will need to carry out, such as:

  • Checking the divorce court has the power to make the proposed financial court order as the divorce court can normally only make a financial court order if a divorcing couple have obtained their decree nisi of divorce. If the decree nisi of divorce  has not been pronounced yet, then the financial court paperwork can still be prepared and then sent to the divorce  court at the time of the pronouncement of the decree nisi;
  • Drawing up a document called a statement of financial information and then exchanging the financial statement of information with your spouse’s divorce solicitor so that you both know what the other has, by way of assets and income, and what their housing and other plans are. You  may well know all of this information as a result of the  arbitration process, mediation sessions or solicitor negotiations but the divorce  court insists that a statement of information is completed and signed and will not make a financial court order without one. The financial statement of information summarising what you own and earn is a useful document for the divorce court to look at when a family judge is deciding whether or not to approve the agreed financial court order;
  • Drawing up a draft financial court order and exchanging it with your spouse’s London divorce  solicitor and negotiating any changes needed;
  • Checking that any relevant third parties are in agreement with the wording of the proposed financial court order, for example a pension administrator will need to consider the wording on a pension sharing annex if a pension is going to be shared as part of the divorce  financial settlement;
  • Once the draft financial court order and the statement of financial information have been completed and signed by both sets of London divorce solicitors and the husband and wife then the financial court order paperwork and court fee are sent to the divorce court for a judge to consider. The judge decides whether or not to make the proposed financial court order. Normally  the judge will make the financial court order that has been requested by the husband and wife but if the judge has questions about the wording of the financial court order or the terms of the order, based on the information provided in the financial statement of information document, then the judge can ask for more information or clarification;
  • Answering any questions the divorce  court  may have on the proposed financial court order;
  • When the financial court order is approved by the divorce  court  the order then has to be sent  to the divorce  court for sealing and return;
  • Once the sealed financial court order is received from the divorce  court it needs to be sent to any relevant third parties,  such as a pension administrator or financial advisor or property conveyancing solicitor if the financial court order provides for  pension sharing, investment or share transfers or the transfer of a family home or other property;
  • Making  sure that decree absolute of divorce is obtained as without the decree absolute of divorce  the financial court order is not capable of being enforced;
  • If the financial court order contains future dates, such as a date for the payment of a lump sum or the date when spousal maintenance payments will increase (in line with the retail price index or consumer price index or other agreed formula) or a date in the future when spousal maintenance will stop then these dates need to be diarised up to make sure that the financial court order is fully implemented. It can be easy for things to be missed such as an undertaking or a promise in a financial court order to take out life insurance or change a pension nomination. That failure to action  is often not because the spouse does not want to comply with the court order but because they are moving house as a result of the divorce  or are just busy with work etc.;

The key to securing a financial court order from the court is preparation and experience. The best London divorce solicitors can guide you through the negotiation and court process so that you can secure your agreed financial court order and move on with your life knowing that you have the financial security of a court order.

Some financial court orders are more complicated than others, for example where there is a family business and shareholdings or one spouse is an employee of the company or there are family trusts involved. Top London divorce solicitors can help obtain a financial court order however straight forward or complicated your personal and financial circumstances are. If you cannot reach a financial agreement the best London divorce solicitors will be able to advise you on the option of starting financial court proceedings to secure a financial settlement.

OTS Solicitors advise on all aspects of divorce and financial settlement law and have substantial experience in advising on and preparing financial court orders. OTS Solicitors also provide specialist divorce, family and children law advice. Please get in touch with us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced divorce and financial settlement solicitors.

    Get in touch

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.