When you are divorcing, we know that you will have many important decisions to make about your future when you are already going through an emotional period in your life.
You will need to make arrangements regarding your finances, which cannot always be agreed between you and your former spouse. Should you not be able to resolve these matters amicably, and other options such as collaborative law have not been successful, you will need to go to Court to reach an agreement. One part of this is known as Financial Dispute Resolution, and more couples are now choosing to undertake private Financial Dispute Resolution in order to avoid the time delays and costs involved in Court proceedings.
Our Family & Relationships department have experienced lawyers who can support you through the Court process or undertake a private FDR should you wish to come to a faster resolution. Here, we answer a variety of questions regarding the financial arrangements following a divorce. Should you have any further queries, you can contact a member of the team today to arrange a free initial consultation.
FDR refers to one of the stages involved in the Court process for making financial plans once a couple has begun divorce proceedings. This would be held to agree matters regarding your pensions, property and any other assets. There are three stages involved:
The key point with any form of resolution is that both parties must provide full disclosure, and financial remedies are no exception. It is vital that both you and your former partner are open and honest about your financial position, otherwise it will be impossible to reach a agreement.
Due to the current delays facing our Court system, private Financial Dispute Resolutions have grown in popularity. The private FDR is run in the same way as a Court-led FDR, however you would pay a specialist to run the proceedings for you in a time and place of your choosing, often held sooner than through the Court system and in an environment less intimidating than a Court room. You can decide to have a private FDR even if you have already begun proceedings.
The Judge would make their evaluation based on the documents that have been presented to them prior to the hearing and the submissions made by your legal team on the day. While this is not a guarantee of the outcome, the evaluation can assist in aiding a settlement.
Once they have made their assessment and delivered their viewpoint on the potential outcomes, you and your former spouse would discuss this with your respective legal representatives and then, potentially, make an offer of settlement.
If agreed, a Court Order is drafted and signed by the parties before being filed at Court. Most couples prefer to reach an agreement at the FDR stage as it leaves them with more control over the outcome; should the private FDR not lead to an agreement, then you would move on to the final hearing in Court and the final decision would lie in the hands of the Judge.
Aside from avoiding the time constraints that are faced when using the Court for FDR, the other benefits include:
A financial remedy specialist would act as the Judge in these matters, and could be a Solicitor, barrister or retired Judge. They would usually be a specialist in family law, while a Court Judge may not be, bringing you more confidence that the Judge in a private FDR will understand the nuances involved in family law and the circumstances you will be facing.
Private FDRs are becoming a more popular method to come to financial agreements, predominantly as it removes the hostility and tension that can arise from these matters. Our lawyers in our Family & Relationships department are well versed in conducting these matters and are here to help. Contact one of the team today to discuss your questions and arrange your free initial consultation.