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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help going to court over a Financial Settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support for people who are going to court over a fair financial settlement, for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


FDR TO FINAL HEARING

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06 Mar 08 #16056 by OHPPS
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A quick question to anyone who has been all the way through the courts with ancillary relief. I had the FDR just over a week ago and my case has been listed for final hearing. The judge at the FDR expressed his opinion on the case as was expected. If the same evidence/arguments are used is it likley that the judgement would be roughly the same as the opinion given at the FDR? What happens if ex changes tack before the final hearing? Are all statement of issues that have been prepared previously set before the judge at FH?
Sorry this is three questions . All comments would be appreciated

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07 Mar 08 #16069 by Elizabeth
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Hello Val1,

I will try and answer your questions - I have been to a full hearing myself only recently but when I think back things can get confusing!

One very important thing I do remember is that anything discussed at the FDR and the FDR judges indication whatever it may have been are NOT under ANY circumstances allowed to be brought into the final hearing - it just cannot happen. The judge at FDR will always be a different one at final hearing.

Regarding the statement of issues, in my case they came after the FDR. Proposals were made between the two parties solicitors. The most important document/paperwork set before the final hearing judge is the position statement/open proposal which will be drafted and put forward by your barrister (a must). With regards to your proposal - I would be guided by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (can be looked up in library or on internet). If there are children involved the housing needs and interests of the children will be the court's primary consideration - no judge worth will defer from this that's one thing I can be certain of. They usually start at 50/50 split but then any percentage can be awarded depending upon individual circumstances. Is there any pensions that need to be accounted for? Try and keep paperwork to a minimum if you can!

I don't know if this is any help but if you wouldn't mind I would like to know...

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07 Mar 08 #16080 by maggie
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The same judge can't do the FDR and FH in the same divorce case but does the District Judge at FDR make any sort of notes on the case he's considering at FDR level?
The FDR might after all result in a Consent Order - does the judge have to be ready to "defend" his case for not granting periodical payments/transferring property etc - does any of his reasoning go on record or does he literally just make unrecorded comments on the day that will have great influence over the outcome at FDR but for which he won't be held accountable in any way?

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07 Mar 08 #16119 by OHPPS
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Thanx both for the replies.
My statement of issues was the same as had been prepared for the first appointment which never happened.I hadn`t even seen my solicitor for two months, just a ten minuite call phone call before the hearing. I felt as though the hearing went very well in my favour, but has now been listed for a final hearing as ex seems to have some wild ideas about how much I can raise on a mortgage which are totally unrealistic and the judge told him so. Obviously I would like a judgement similar to the opinion at the fdr. I suppose what I`m saying is how far away are different judges in the same court usually. My arguments won`t change the assets won`t change the circumstances of me and ex won`t change and the statement of issues won`t change and has been very well drafted. Just worrying about the difference in judges

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07 Mar 08 #16121 by Elizabeth
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Hello Val1,

If your circumstances of you and your ex won't be changing before the Final Hearing then it would seem (if common sense prevails!) a second judges "opinion" would be of a similar way of thinking. My case was entirely different as my ex manipulated the circumstances to change drastically just before the final hearing and therefore what the judge indicated at the FDR became almost invalid. The judge at the FDR did make a note on the file but when you get to final hearing stage some of the paperwork is not included in what is called a trial Bundle. If you are the applicant in the ancillary relief the cost of the trial bundle is borne by the applicant, the paperwork is colossal and that's where the costs (admin mostly) come in. A typical cost for a day's hearing for a Barrister to represent you is approx 1,500 + VAT. The judge may just make a judgement and the barristers will draft the final order for "approval" by the judge.

As long as you keep putting forward realistic proposals (headed "without prejudice") the "save as to costs" Calderbank letters are not taken into consideration any more, this has changed fairly recently (April 2007 I think) where one party can claim against the other for costs if they bring the matter to court when a perfectly acceptable proposal has been made, similar to what a judge would order and refused.

You will need to get at least three "mortgage in principal" to prove your realistically affordable mortgage capacity. The court will focus on the housing needs of both parties, particularly if children are involved they will be a priority.

Would it be practical for you to reply direct to your ex's solicitor's to the general letters and seek "Ad Hoc" advice from your solicitor? This saved me a lot of money, I was so determined to save money that I did a lot of the paperwork myself. Your key person is your Barrister and as long as you keep to the facts via your solicitor it will help to keep costs down. Unfortunately it is not possible for a private person to instruct a Barrister directly it has to be done via a solicitor, which means quite a lot of third party info being handled. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 was quite helpful, it helped me focus on what the court's take into consideration.

Hope this is not too much blurb!!

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08 Mar 08 #16227 by OHPPS
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Elizabeth no not too much blurb!
Again thanks for the comments. Pity you`re never online when I am!
Would actually like a chat with you about the final hearing.
Looking at one of your posts seems like you are still going through a difficult time with one of your children.
I hope everything turns out fine for you.

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10 Mar 08 #16322 by Elizabeth
Reply from Elizabeth
Hi,

Send me a private message when you online and see if we can "touch base"!

Would like to help any way I can with working towards Final Hearing - daunting prospect - but you know when it came to it I was resigned to the fact that my ex (it's usually the woman but in my case not!) had brought us there - bloody stubbornes on his part and so I just went through with it as if it were a business transaction - I had got beyond the emotional bit by this time.

Get in touch it will be healing!!

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