In the first instance, both parties should attempt to agree on a fair settlement figure between each other. If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on how to split your money and property, you can look to seek mediation or ask your solicitor to communicate with your ex-partner effectively.
If the avenues set out above have been explored and there you are not any closer to seeking a financial settlement out of court you can ask a court to make a financial order.
This means the court will decide how assets will be split. Getting the court to decide usually takes longer and is more expensive than if you and your ex-partner agree between each other or between solicitors.
You must attend a meeting about mediation before you can apply to the court to decide – except in certain cases (if there’s been domestic abuse, for example).
A financial order will describe how you’re going to divide up assets for example:
It can also include arrangements for maintenance payments, including child maintenance.
When to apply for a financial order
You can apply for a financial order when you apply for your divorce or dissolution, or at any time after that.
It’s usually simpler to apply:
- after you have your conditional order or decree nisi – the court typically cannot make a financial order before this
- before you get your final order or decree absolute – if you apply after this, there may be financial consequences, particularly for pensions
The financial order will only take effect after you get your final order or decree absolute.
How to apply
You need to apply for a financial order – you or your solicitor do this by submitting a request for a financial order in proceedings for divorce or ending a civil partnership to the courts.
After you apply
There are three main stages after you apply:
- the First Direction Appointment – a short hearing with the judge and other party present to discuss your application
- Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Appointment – to help you agree without needing a final hearing. The judge will give an indication on how the parties should look to split their assets (you might need more than one appointment)
- Final Hearing – if you’re not able to agree, this is when a judge will decide how you must separate your finances.
You can find further information of the court process in our Ancillary Relief Proceedings article also on our website.
Further help and advice
You can contact Bond Adams Solicitors on 0116 285 8080 or email us at email@example.com to book a meeting with our experienced family law team for further information tailored to your specific needs.