Form E Divorce – What Happens After It’s Exchanged?
Table Of Contents
What is Form E in Divorce Proceedings?
Form E is a financial document in divorce proceedings that both parties are required to complete if you want to finalise your financial matters after a divorce.
Each party sets out a full and frank disclosure of their financial positions and future requirements.
Any financial details stated within Form E are usually accompanied by clearly identified supporting documents.
At first, filling out Form E can appear quite daunting, as the document itself is 28 pages long, but with sound legal advice, it can be fully completed without any issues.
You will be asked to provide details on your income, assets, pensions, outgoings, and expenses. As well as the needs of yourself and any children.
To ensure the document is completed correctly you and your spouse have a duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure.
Is Form E compulsory in divorce?
Completing Form E is not compulsory in every divorce. It’s only compulsory if you or your spouse have asked the court to approve a financial order to divide money and assets.
The courts will require both parties to fill out a Form E; this is so that they are able to make a fair judgment on your current financial situation. This ensures the order they make is fair to both parties.
If you and your spouse want to create a financial order but don’t want to go through the courts, you are able to use a financial consent order.
You will still be required to provide information on your financial situation and you may be asked to provide a Form E informally (without the courts being involved). If you both agree on how to split your finances, and it’s deemed fair, you are not required to go to court.
What information or documents are needed for Form E?
You will be asked to attach a number of supporting documents to accompany Form E. These documents provide evidence to prove that what you have written is correct.
The documents you could be asked to provide could include:
- Matrimonial home valuation
- Matrimonial home mortgage statement
- Personal bank, building society and national saving accounts
- Any other quoted investments
- Life insurance policies
- Business interests
- Pension and PPF compensation
- Employment income & self-employment or partnership income
What happens after Form E is exchanged?
Both parties to the divorce can consider their financial position once the exchange of Form E has taken place. At this stage, a request for further information can be made.
If an agreement by both parties is reached a financial consent order will be required to legalise the agreement reached, while also preventing any further claims from either partners.
If parties are unable to reach an agreement following the exchange of form e they can choose to proceed to court. Should this happen a succession of dispute resolution hearings are held in which parties try and reach an agreement.
The dispute resolution hearings start with a First Appointment Hearing (FA Hearing) held after the exchange of the financial form e – its purpose is to help both parties reach an agreement with the assistance of the court.
If an agreement is not reached at the FA Hearing then a First Dispute Resolution Appointment is listed to facilitate informal discussions surrounding a possible financial settlement.
The Judge can indicate a likely financial settlement – however, this is merely an opinion and not legally binding.
If parties still fail to reach a settlement then a Final Hearing is listed where each party must present their evidence.
The Judge will then make a final decision based on the evidence presented and the decision will be legally binding on both partners.
Failure to provide financial disclosure
You have the duty to give full and frank financial disclosure when filling out Form E. This means you have to give full and accurate disclosure of all your financial and personal circumstances.
If you fail to give the courts full and frank disclosure your case may be set aside. If you are found to have been untruthful on purpose, criminal charges may be enforced under the Fraud act 2006.
If you believe your spouse is withholding information or has not been truthful, you can ask the courts for a hearing where you will be required to show evidence as to why you believe your spouse is lying/withholding information.
The courts will then make a judgment and decide whether to order the disclosure you have requested and if a punishment should be made against your spouse for not disclosing it.
It’s important to understand that Form E is a legal document and you are required to sign a statement of truth.
If you do not provide full disclosure during financial remedy proceedings there could be consequences, such as a delay or removal of the financial settlement or a fine in the form of a cost order.