How to complete a Form E for financial disclosure
What is a Form E?
When a marriage breaks down and the financial settlement is being discussed, it is advisable for the parties to exchange full and frank financial disclosure before preparing offers and deciding on the best way to divide the matrimonial assets. This is because it is helpful for both parties to have a clear understanding of each other’s finances when considering what is fair and it allows them both to obtain legal advice in respect of the finances.
The Form E is the document that the Court will require parties to fill in when exchanging full and frank financial disclosure after one party has applied to the Court for a financial remedy. However, many people also choose to use this form when exchanging financial disclosure on a voluntary basis as it covers all aspects of one’s finances. For many people completing this form can be a daunting talk as the form is lengthy and very detailed. Some of the sections of the Form E also require documentary evidence to be filed alongside the Form E itself.
How to complete the Form E
The form begins by asking basic information of the party who is completing the Form and this section tends to be quite self-explanatory.
The person completing the form is then asked to provide valuations for any properties that they own. A separate page must be completed for each property that is owned by that party. Property that is rented by the parties is not to be included in this section. If the person completing the form is unsure of the value of their property, it is advisable to ask an estate agent to value it prior to submitting the form.
The form then moves onto bank accounts, investments and liabilities. Bank statements covering the previous 12 months must also be submitted as evidence when filing the form to ensure that the values provided are correct. This includes any joint bank accounts and any other type of account which this person has an interest in. Any investments that are disclosed such as PEPs, ISAs, bonds and stocks must be included in the table at section 2.4 along with the current value of these holdings. If there are multiple parties with an interest in the investments or accounts, the person completing the form must disclose the size of their interest in the investment. Documentary evidence of the values provided is required and this will either be in the form of the most recent statement or the dividend counterfoil for each investment.
Details of any life insurance policies where an interest is held in must be included along with documentary evidence of the surrender value. Any money owed on credit cards or store cards or any bank loans or hire purchase agreements for must be included at section 2.9 although there is no requirement to provide documentary evidence in the form of bank statements for this section. If an interest is held in any businesses, section 2.11 must be filled out and copies of the business’s accounts for the past two years as well as any documentation indicating the value of the business must be provided.
Section 2.13 is where details of any pensions (excluding the State Pension) are recorded. A separate page must be completed for each pension that is held and documentary evidence as to the value of these pensions must also be filed. Details of any income from employment are then included at section 2.15. A P60 for the last financial year, the last three payslips and a Form P11D (if the person completing the form has been issued with one) must be filed as documentary evidence for the information included within this section. Self-employed people must complete section 2.16 and attach copies of their last tax assessment or a letter from their accountant confirming their tax liability. If the income earned from the last financial year and the estimated income for the next 12 months are significantly different, a copy of the management accounts must also be filed.
Section 3 requires each party to provide details of their income needs as well as the income needs of any children. These should be broken down into specific categories such as mortgage payments, food bills and school fees for example. Details of any capital needs such as what funds may be required in order to purchase a new property should be included within section 3.2.
This section deals with any significant changes to assets or income. There is also space for additional comments such as the standard of living that was enjoyed throughout the marriage, any contributions that have been made and any conduct issues or other circumstances that should be taken into account. Conduct in this context will usually only be relevant if it relates to the finances.
The Form E concludes with a Statement of Truth and it is then signed by the party who is completing the Form or their solicitor. It is important that the person completing the Form provides accurate information before signing the statement of truth as proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against any person who makes or causes to be made, a false statement within the form.
Top Tips for completing the Form E
- Obtain legal advice to ensure that the form is completed correctly. If the Form E is completed incorrectly, this may cause delay as it may lead to a lengthy questionnaire from the other party in order for them to gain a full understanding of your financial position. This may lead to further costs being incurred and may also cause delay in reaching a settlement.
- Check the grey text boxes to see whether that section requires documentary evidence to be submitted with the form.
- Ensure all supplementary documents that are attached are current and not out of date.
- Remember that you do not have to complete all the sections as some of them may not apply to your situation.
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