Court Proceedings (Finance)
Financial choices when partners separate
Applications may be made to the court for any of, or a combination of the following:
- Maintenance (regular payments to a spouse);
- Maintenance pending suit/Maintenance pending outcome of dissolution proceedings (regular payments to a spouse until divorce/dissolution is finalised)
- Periodical Payment (weekly or monthly sums);
- Lump Sum Order (cash lump sum);
- Property Adjustment Order (redistribution of family property);
- Order for Sale (sale of property either or both parties are beneficially entitled);
- Pension Sharing Order (please see more information in our Pension Sharing Order page.
Applications for the above orders are made on a standard form (Form A), available from the courts or online from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). A date will then be set for you to go to court for the first appointment.
Before that appointment, each party will exchange and file at court a financial disclosure form (Form E) which details each parties finances. Each party must also exchange and file a statement about finances, a chronology of the marriage or civil partnership, a questionnaire about the other party’s Form E and a form to confirm whether you will be using the hearing for directions.
If it is not possible, at the first appointment, to negotiate, the judge will make orders and set a date to ensure the parties are ready to negotiate. This new date will be for a Financial Dispute Resolution, otherwise known as an FDR.
During the FDR both parties will make proposals for settlement ‘without prejudice’, meaning it cannot be referred to in court afterwards. If agreement cannot be reached, the judge will give further orders and fix a date for a final hearing.
At the final hearing, each party presents their case, experts may give their opinions, each party gives evidence and submissions will be heard from your legal team. The judge will them make an order about what will happen.
This information is designed to be neutral and will be given to everyone to whom it is relevant. It is not designed to replace detailed legal advice tailored to your particular circumstances. It is intended to help you identify some options which may be open to you. It is not for reproduction and may not be used in any other context.