In most cases where parties separate, whether they wish to divorce or not, financial arrangements have to be made. This can involve what should happen to the family home, whether maintenance should be paid by one party to the other, what the parties should receive with regard to family assets, and what level of child maintenance is appropriate. For parties who intend to divorce and have already substantially agreed matters, an agreed form of court order by consent can be arranged at a low cost, usually between £400 and £750.
Court procedures for financial settlements
- One of the parties issues an application which is then sent by the court to the other party.
- The court sends to both parties details of when certain steps must take place, including details of the first court hearing
- At the first court hearing, the judge considers the circumstances of the case
- The next court hearing (Financial Dispute Resolution) provides the opportunity for parties to resolve their difficulties
- If the matter is still not settled, a final hearing must take place
Court hearing timescale
Reaching the First Directions Appointment (first court hearing) usually takes around three months. Most matters are fully dealt with, including a final hearing if necessary, well within a year.
Financial settlement costs
Each case is different and costs will vary depending on the circumstances and complexities of the case. However, a rough guide is that, for cases which settle at an early stage, costs will be in the region of £1000 to £2000. For more complex cases or those which require a final hearing, costs may be between £2000 to £5,000 or possibly more.
We adhere strictly to the Solicitors Family Law Association code of conduct which encourages constructive negotiation and discourages antagonistic and aggressive conduct, which invariably increase costs and animosity.