We are operating as normal > Read our COVID-19 guidance.

Most couples who are getting divorced will want to obtain a financial settlement and have it ratified by the court through a financial consent order.

In order to get a financial order from the court which makes a divorce settlement legally enforceable, a financial statement called Form E needs to be completed by both divorcing parties.

In this article, we will highlight the various pieces of information and documentation which need to be gathered in order to fill out Form E correctly.

What information needs to be included?

Property

  • A current mortgage redemption statement which shows any amounts for mortgages outstanding (both on the matrimonial home and any other properties or land).
  • Although expert valuations are not required, the best estimates of current market value should be included. If a valuation has been conducted in the last six months this needs to be stated.

Banks and investments

  • 12 months of statements are required for any bank, building society and National Savings accounts held over the past 12 months.
  • Values of any investments (eg shares, PEPs, ISAs, TESSAs, bonds, stocks, unit trusts, investment trusts, gilts and other quoted securities) should be obtained. Values will often be included in the most recent statement – but it may be necessary to get an up to date market valuation (ie in the case of shares).
  • Details of any life insurance policies.
  • Any monies owed by others, cash sums and personal belongings worth more than £500.

Pensions

  • The pension value must be stated when sharing pensions. In order to calculate the value of a pension for purposes of achieving a divorce settlement, the ‘cash equivalent transfer value’ (CETV) is required. This valuation should not be more than one year old. If the CETV is not contained in the annual statement or a more current figure is required, this can generally be requested from the pension provider. 
  • Any Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation entitlement.

Debts and liabilities

  • Any debts and liabilities (ie separate to the mortgage) should be stated, including total amounts owed and details of creditors.
  • Information regarding any capital gains tax which is due upon the disposal of any assets.

Business

  • Two years of business accounts should be submitted. 
  • Any documentation that is available to confirm the estimate of the current value of the business (eg a formal valuation of the business) should be included.
  • Any directorships held must be detailed.

Income

  • In respect of employment, the last three wage slips and most recent P60 will need to be supplied. Also, the last Form P11D (if one has been issued).
  • Any income from self-employment, partnerships or directorships should also be detailed, along with relevant documentation (eg dividend vouchers, self assessment tax returns or a letter from an accountant).
  • Any relevant statements in respect of other income such as benefits, pension payments, rental income etc.

Income needs

  • Details about your income needs, along with the income needs of any minor children who are living with you (ie outgoings are on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis). 
  • Information about your capital needs and those of your children (eg the cost of a new house, replacement furniture etc). 
  • Any changes to the standard of living since separation (particularly important in relation to marriages where there was a significant financial imbalance in terms of earning power).

What happens if I don’t have the relevant documents?

It may be necessary to write to contact various companies in order to find out relevant details. For example, Form P is a Pension Enquiry Form which may need to be filled in and submitted to the pension provider in order to obtain details about a pension.

If a pension valuation is not available, the estimated date when it will be available should be provided in Form E.

Also, include a copy of the letter to the pension company or administrators from whom the information was sought and/or state the date on which an application for a valuation of an Additional State Pension was submitted to the Department of Work and Pensions.

Should I gather information before filing for divorce?

It’s a good idea to gather all the necessary information before applying for a divorce and as early as possible in the divorce process, as obtaining relevant documents can take time and delay the overall divorce.

Furthermore, in an acrimonious divorce, one spouse may try to ‘hide’ important documents from their partner.

So it can be a good idea to obtain any relevant information and make copies of documents prior to announcing your intention to separate.

But since the 2010 Court of Appeal case of Tchenguiz & Ors v Imerman (Rev 4) [2010] EWCA Civ 908, any confidential information belonging solely to the other party which was obtained without their permission will no longer be admissible (as it was in the past), so care needs to be taken when gathering information.

This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

Click here to chat with us!