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How to reach a fair financial settlement.


A step by step guide to the overall process, and information on the relevant services.

When a couple separates, or gets divorced, they need to discuss and reach an agreement on a fair way to split up their property, pensions, savings and other financial assets/debts. For some amicable couples this is easy to do, for others it can be a difficult, slow and costly exercise.

Wikivorce can assist you reach a financial settlement whatever your circumstances.

There are several approaches to sorting out finances, including : doing it yourself, using traditional solicitors, using collaborative solicitors, attending mediation, using an arbitration service, or going to court and having a family court judge make a decision on what is fair.

This guide is intended to help you understand the overall process, and to work out which of the available legal services will help you to reach an agreement.


Extract from a typical letter sent by a solicitor to initiate financial discussions:

"We have been retained by Mrs Smith to represent her in the matter of a fair financial settlement in connection with your ongoing divorce proceedings. We would kindly request that you 1) provide a full and frank financial disclosure by completing and returning the enclosed Form E, and providing the following attachments: 12 months statements for any bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. We also require a copy of your P60 from last year, and a pension valuation letter from your pension provider. We will provide you with the same. We require this information so that our client can 2) obtain legal advice on what she is entitled to as a settlement upon divorce. Once disclosure is complete, and legal advice has been provided, we suggest that you consider attending a local mediation service, where you and our client can 3) negotiate over the finances and hopefully reach an agreement. Once a deal has been agreed we will 4) draft a legally binding agreement document known as a Consent Order, which we will then send to the family court to be approved by a Judge. We expect a response to this letter within the next 14 days. If we do not recieve a response we may be forced to take this matter to court, which could lead to you being liable for considerable legal costs."

We have underlined and numbered, from 1 to 4, the key steps in this example solicitor's proposed plan.

There are four main steps to reaching a fair financial agreement:


1) Financial Disclosure


The starting point for discussion on a fair financial settlement is for the couple to be transparent about their overall financial position. Both parties will need to declare their: income, outgoings, assets and debts.


How can Wikivorce help? We offer the following services:


Amicable case where couple already agree

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If you know your spouse's finances and have already agreed on a fair split.
You will still need to provide a basic high level of disclosure on a D81 form, which is included as part of our Consent order service.
Estimated Costs:
A D81 form is included as part of our Consent Order service.

Typical case with less than £1 million in assets

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If you need some help getting your spouse to provide full financial disclosure:
One of our Divorce Consultants can write letters, provide a template, and help persuade your spouse to provide disclosure.
Estimated Costs:
From £70 to £195 for support from a Divorce Consultant.

High value, complex or very contested case

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In high value or contested cases full disclosure is critical and can be difficult to obtain:
Our solicitors can obtain a full disclosure through Form E, and apply to court if your spouse doesn't voluntarily comply.
Estimated Costs:
5 to 10 hrs at £250 per hour with an experienced family solicitor.