If an agreement is not possible then the case may be referred to court. Financial procedure essentially involves:

  • an application to court (Form A)
  • a timetable will be automatically be set by the court (Form C)
  • an exchange of financial information (Form E)
  • a first directions appointment (FDA) then takes place to consider, for example:
  • what, if any, extra financial information is needed;
  • if any property or business valuations are needed;
  • what other issues arise; and
  • what steps are necessary to get the case for the next stage
  • the case then proceeds to a financial dispute resolution appointment (FDR):
    • this is a negotiation type hearing with a judge;
    • offers are exchanged in advance of the hearing; and
    • the judge with the legal advisers assists the parties to reach a settlement.
  • If the case does not settle then it will proceed to a final hearing where ultimately a judge will make a decision to determine the financial outcome.

Factors taken into account

The factors that a court takes into account are, in summary, the:

  • the welfare of any minor children
  • income, earning capacity, assets and financial resources
  • financial needs, obligations and responsibilities
  • standard of living
  • age of each party and the length of the marriage
  • health of each party
  • contributions (financial and non-financial)
  • conduct
  • loss of certain rights

We can advise and assist to make sure that there is full and relevant financial disclosure, the value of the assets (including business interests and pensions) is known and there is a reasonable and sensible financial settlement. Where court proceedings are necessary we will deal with the case robustly and ensure the best possible outcome. James Maguire is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and an accredited specialist.

For advice from a specialist family law solicitor please contact Maguire Family Law by telephone +44 (0) 1625 529456 or by email at