Court Procedure in Divorce and Finance
If it is necessary to issue an application for financial orders in divorce court then it is also usual for this to occur after mediation has been attempted and where it has been unsuccessful. The procedure is generally that an application is issued stating what Orders are required. Each person will have to complete a detailed statement setting out full details of their financial positions and, once any questions have been raised, there will be an initial hearing at the Court to focus on the issues and ensure that both parties are focussing on realism. It is possible that there may be 3 Court hearings and a substantial amount of paperwork being produced. This all takes a lot of time and it is common for applications to take between 6 and 12 months to be concluded.
The cost of Court cases can escalate very rapidly and amount to many thousands of pounds and this must be taken into consideration throughout.
The Law Involved
We need to consider how a Court would approach the matter and some of the main factors to be considered are set out below.
The first consideration must of course be the welfare of any children of the family. The Court will try to ensure that any children are adequately housed and have enough money to meet their needs. There are however several including:
There is no mathematical equation and hence no one correct solution. There are a range of Orders which the court can properly make which is why it can be difficult to predict the likely outcome, especially prior to the exchange of the financial information. The starting point is generally to consider whether the assets should be divided equally and, after a long relationship, it can be difficult to persuade any Court to depart from this. Where there has been a short relationship then, generally speaking, the parties are more likely to walk away with what they brought into it.
Please remember that, as there is no one right answer, the outcome of a case can be unpredictable. It is for this reason that it is better to reach an agreed solution even though some compromises will have had to be made. This may also save a significant amount of money being paid to the solicitors!
Application to Court for Financial Orders
If an agreement in respect of financial matters cannot be reached either by negotiation, mediation or perhaps using the Collaborative process, then an application to the Court is a last resort so that it can make Financial Orders. The range of the Orders include following: