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Topic:
Financial settlement dragging on...... (4 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
11 December, 2017 12:54PM
Financial settlement dragging on......
oldenoughtoknowbetter - 11 December, 2017 12:54PM
Hi all, I’m nearing the end of my divorce process with the decree absolute already gone through but still not reached financial settlement. I received a letter from ex’s solicitor asking for pension CETV’s & bank statements etc which I sent back but still awaiting reciprocal information or a consent order draft. I feel that she is dragging out the process, can you please advise if I have any leverage to move things on?


Many thanks
Re: Financial settlement dragging on......
davidterry - 11 December, 2017 03:10PM
Well, you can make a court application. That will give you a determinate time table. This will cost you money. There is a court fee which is currently £255 to issue a court application. You have to take a view on whether this voluntary disclosure will get anywhere. If you spend months supplying various documents and answering questions only ultimately to fail to reach agreement then that will have just been so much waste of time.

In my experience people either reach agreement in one of two main ways. (1) They each go along to their solicitor and says, 'This is what we have agreed. Can you please get it drawn up formally'. Or (2) They attend mediation and reach agreement as a result of that disclosure and mediation.

If neither of these apply and it is just a matter of one spouse's solicitor (usually the solicitor for the wife) asking for so called 'voluntary' disclosure then I have rarely seen agreement being reached because the will to do so is just not there and it is also usually accompanied by a degree of suspicion or wishful thinking (which is why they did not reach agreement directly or after mediation). Of course, you have to take a view on this but I tend to find issuing a court application works better in the long run in these circumstances.

After all, just because you have issued an application that does not mean that you and your ex can still reach agreement at any time if you can do so. Also, there is built into the court process an appointment called a Financial Dispute Resolution appointment in which a judge basically acts as an independent mediator on a without prejudice basis. Most cases do settle at that point without needing to go further. Only a minority of cases need to go the full distance to actually be determined by a judge. If a case falls into the last category it will have been very unlikely to have been capable of settlement by way of voluntary disclosure to the other spouse's solicitor.
Re: Financial settlement dragging on......
oldenoughtoknowbetter - 11 December, 2017 03:33PM
Thanks David for the prompt and helpful reply, as time moves on, would a judge just look at the spilt on finances during the marriage or would things like savings & debts post-divorce still be taken into consideration?
Re: Financial settlement dragging on......
davidterry - 11 December, 2017 05:38PM
It depends. Savings and debts acquired post separation are not quite in the same category as debts or savings acquired during the marriage because the former cannot really be regarded as 'matrimonial'. In appropriate cases a court will take that distinction into account. However, in many cases it is not practical to make the distinction because 'needs' will always trump whether assets or debts were acquired post separation.
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