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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.


Does The Truth Matter ?

  • May Pole
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30 Sep 21 #517807 by May Pole
Topic started by May Pole
Hi, could anyone share their thoughts, experiences of final hearing in financial settlements ?
I find myself on the conveyer belt that will lead to my own final hearing in due course ( unless of course there is a settlement ).
One of my biggest concerns is how it appears my whole ( my children's ) financial past, present and future could be decided by someone who doesn't know either party or indeed the real story about how it ends up down to him to decide. In my limited experience of judges I have always walked away impressed with how they have managed to see through the smoke and mirrors, but of course this is my life and so I feel different.
Can someone tell me, do they actually read all the papers before them? How can they not be jaded by their role, "here's another sorry tale of he said she said" etc. What happens if they're having a bad day and they just want the hearing over and done with ?

Oh my word, I am driving myself nuts.

Do they take everything at face value, how much evidence does someone have to provide to support a ridiculous (not mine of course) claim?

I understand the s25 principles but will the judge see if someone is just using it as way to continue punishing his former partner? I am so worried I am going to be shafted !

Any help or advice, gratefully received. I am happy to provide further info if anyone's willing to read it.

Take care x

  • hadenoughnow
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01 Oct 21 #517820 by hadenoughnow
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Who did what and the reasons why the marriage failed will have no bearing in financial settlement.

What matters is a clear and accurate picture of the finances (with evidence), a proper assessment of needs and a realistic approach to how assets should be divided to meet those needs. If there is any proposal to depart from 50:50 there needs to be a good reason and evidence to support it. The needs of children are a priority.

If conduct claims are made you can bat them off at an early stage. You will be able to raise a questionnaire to iron out inconsistencies in financial disclosure. The judge at FDR will look at your proposals and tell you what they think. You will be encouraged to settle rather than go to a Final Hearing.

If you do go to FH, you will be able to support your case with a s25 statement. This is a very important document that forms the basis of your case. At the hearing you will each be cross examined. The judge will take a view based on the evidence and it is entirely possible they will take account of the opinion they have formed about each of you. There is a fairly wide discretion available to the judge which they are known to exercise

If you need some support, do consider looking at our consultant services.

Hadenoughnow

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02 Oct 21 #517826 by May Pole
Reply from May Pole
I am of course hoping this doesn't go to a final hearing. The first hearing was last week, I think I am doing ok keeping up with the practicalities, i.e. form E completed on time, and as full and frank as I could be (although I was not happy about it) I had the chronology, questionnaire etc, ready on time. My ex's Form E was woefully incomplete, unsigned, undated, and they were over a week late with the chronology etc, even though he is represented, he even had a barrister representing him at the FH. This claim (he's the applicant) comes 13 years after the marriage ended. I bought him a house to end the relationship he promised it was in full and final settlement but I failed of course to make it legally binding. His solicitors claim his needs are not met, he has a mortgage free 4/5 bedroom house, he declares only benefits as income, it's the only thing he's ever declared, he's been meeting his needs for the last 13 years. His contribution to anything during the marriage was minimal, nothing financially, he did do the school run sometimes! How can he claim he contributed to property I had either before I met him or I've bought since the marriage ended? I don't think he wants to settle I think he's getting what he wants now, which is to punish me, anything he gets awarded will be a bonus. I understand there isn't millions at stake, but whatever I have is what I have worked for and continue to work for. It's hard to think of what evidence I can show, or get to prove he didn't do something ?

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03 Oct 21 #517828 by hadenoughnow
Reply from hadenoughnow
After 13 years of living separately and independently any claim on the basis of need would be diminished.
The question would be what the assets of the marriage were and whether they were shared fairly. This may include pensions as well as property, savings etc.
The agreement you had was acted upon so could be upheld by the court. You need to be able to show it was fair.

Hadenoughnow

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03 Oct 21 #517830 by May Pole
Reply from May Pole
That's a glimmer of reasurrance at least. He is claiming everything is part of the marital pot, you won't be suprised to learn I don't agree. How is it decided? Is that up to a judges discretion ?

How can something he's had no input into be part of a marital pot? I know the legal world doesn't run on the same rails as my simplistic view, but I am struggling to find the space or appropriate time/document to explain myself. It seems that can only come at the FDR at the earliest?? I am contemplating making an offer to finish it but, hand on heart I can't see how he should get to take anything else from me (and the children,) I also don't think he would accept anything at this point. His solicitors don't seem to have an interest in settling either?

If I make an offer, do I explain my reasons or is that pointless, does it at least show that I am trying ?

How much effort should I put into proving that his income claims are bogus? I have asked for clarification of stuff in my questionnaire after form E's but I want to do the right thing, not just send endless letters arguing. Even his chronology is mostly incorrect, is that something I should highlight.

I am sure you already know, but just in case you don't realise how much, this is such a massively positive helpful thing you're involved with, thank you so much, it's such a worrying, frustrating and lonely situation to be in, but receiving your input has made a difference today.

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09 Oct 21 - 09 Oct 21 #517870 by hadenoughnow
Reply from hadenoughnow
How you make your case is important. This is all about evidence and how it is presented.
Sometimes there is merit in making a without prejudice proposal simply to save the cost (financial and emotional) of going to further hearings. It is best to talk this through with a legal advisor before you do. You should also be confident that you have full financial disclosure first.
If you are not in a position to afford a solicitor then it may be worth looking at some of the low cost services we provide for self reppers. Call the helpline or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how we may be able to assist. Tell them you've been referred from the forum.

Hadenoughnow
Last edit: 09 Oct 21 by hadenoughnow.

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12 Oct 21 #517892 by longjulie219
Reply from longjulie219
Hi
I am going through exactly the same thing final hearing is 25th October feels awful

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