I have my Final Hearing on 26th September after a very long wait. I’m just doing my Section 25 statement. I know how to set it all out and have looked at the wikivorce template (thank you) How much detail do l go into? I have been told do make sure I write about ‘First Consideration to the welfare of the children’ - could anyone that has done a Section 25 help me please? It seems very daunting. Many thanks in advance.
If you have specific evidence to support any point, reference in the s25 as Exhibit One, Two etc, label and attach. If there are several you may want to include a short index.
Make sure you number each paragraph (makes it easier to follow), use 12 point font (ideally Times New Roman), Leave 2.5cm margin at left and space lines ar 1.5 with a double space between pars.
Follow instructions in order (if given) as to length. If there are no instructions limit it to max 12 pages spaced as above.
Remember this is the judge's introduction to your case so keep it concise and simple and tell a clear story.
Section 25 is set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. When a court orders statements dealing with Section 25 criteria it seeks that each party set out their case based on various factors that the court has determined to be important. These would include age, earning ability, pension entitlement, life expectancy, care of children etc.
The criteria is:
The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future (including any benefits under a pension scheme which a party to the marriage has or is likely to have), including in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the Court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
The conduct of each of the parties if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the Court be inequitable to disregard it;
In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.