Form E – Financial Statement on Divorce
What is a Form E?
A Form E is a detailed form setting out your financial details, including the needs of yourself and the children. Both you and your spouse have a duty to provide full and frank disclosure in your Form E, giving full details of all your finances including; capital, income and pensions. You also need to provide a comprehensive schedule of outgoings and expenses. Download Form E and Download Expenses Schedule.
Why is a Form E needed?
To provide each other with a full picture of your financial position in order to reach a financial settlement, which is fair and reasonable to both of you. Finances cannot be properly resolved, without knowing what assets there are to split and the needs of each party. Further, a solicitor is unable to advise you on whether a settlement is fair and reasonable without having sight of full and frank disclosure.
How is a Form E used?
There are two main uses for the Form E:
1. Voluntary disclosure: both parties agree to provide voluntary disclosure by mutual exchange of Form E. The financial information you have disclosed is then used to enter into discussions and negotiations with a view to reaching a financial settlement. These discussions can be between solicitors or through mediation, collaborative law or arbitration.
2. Court Proceedings: where a party issues a Notice of Intention to proceed with an application for a financial order (Form A) the Court will set a timetable and the first step is for each of you to complete a Form E and file it at the Court and exchange the same with your spouse. This is prior to the first hearing known as the First Appointment.
How do I complete a Form E?
The Form E may appear daunting at first due to its length and the amount of information required. It is split into five sections and a good tip is to deal with one section at a time. For guidance on completing your Form E, please download the Form E Guidance Document here. Your solicitor can also assist you with completing your Form E where necessary.
Why do I have to provide 12 months of statements?
In order for your spouse and the Court to see if there has been any change in your circumstances, for them to understand your current lifestyle and your future needs.
What are the benefits of being open and honest in my Form E?
The key way to resolving your finances as quickly, efficiently as possible is to complete your Form E as comprehensively as you can. It will also assist in reducing your legal costs.
If you are dishonest and fail to provide all the information that the Form E requests, it can lead to delays in reaching a financial settlement and subsequently increase your legal costs. Further, if you reach a financial settlement based on incorrect or missing disclosure, such agreement could be set aside (cancelled) at a later stage.
What if my spouse fails to provide full disclosure?
You and your spouse are both under a duty to the Court to provide full and frank disclosure of your finances and this duty continues throughout the proceedings.
Once you have exchanged Form E’s with your spouse, you can file a Questionnaire on your spouse raising questions where you consider financial information has not been disclosed or needs explaining or updating. Such questions must be reasonable and proportionate.
Should your spouse refuse to provide further disclosure or you consider your spouse is not being full and frank with their disclosure, you can ask the Court for a directions hearing. At this hearing, you would be required to produce evidence to the Court of your belief that there is missing disclosure/hidden assets. The Court will then decide whether to order the disclosure you have requested and whether there should be a punishment if the disclosure is not forthcoming.
What are the consequences if my spouse or I should fail or refuse to provide full disclosure?
If either you or your spouse refuse or fail to provide full disclosure, it could result in the following consequences:
- A delay in reaching a financial settlement causing an increase in each party’s legal costs.
- Affect the financial settlement that is reached, which could result in the party who has failed or refused to provide disclosure receiving less of the matrimonial assets.
- A costs Order being made against the party who has failed or refused to provide disclosure.
It is very important to not rush filing in your Form E, so take your time. If you make a mistake or forget to include something it may look like you are attempting to hide something even though this is not the case.
If you require further advice and guidance on completing your Financial Statement for your divorce, please call us on 01252 622422 or visit www.watson-thomas.co.uk
Form E Download
Form E Guidance Documents
Expenses Schedule Download