Your solicitor would be best to advise you on the procedure for resolving the finances. It is not a matter in which “do it yourself” is the best option. An overview of the procedure can be provided however.
Negotiations between solicitors or mediation can result in the identification and narrowing of some issues and the resolving of others. In the absence of agreement either side can apply to the court for “financial provision” as it is known. Trawling through the history of a marriage is best avoided at this stage as is the temptation to moan about the other spouse.
There are three possible court dates to attend but each family breakdown will depend on difference facts and there may be more or fewer appointments in court.
- At the First Appointment the husband and wife will be expected to have given the court full details of their own financial situation and will have an opportunity to question the finances of their spouse if appropriate.
- At the Financial Dispute Resolution appointment the Judge will give an indication of what orders would be likely in the particular circumstances. If agreement is reached everything will be finalised at this appointment. If everything is not agreed there will be a Final Hearing.
- At the Final Hearing each person will make their case, possibly with a Barrister to represent them, and the Judge will decide what the final settlement is to be.