Financial and Property FAQs

What are your alternatives to Court proceedings?

Other solutions exist to negotiating your financial settlement apart from Court proceedings. The most obvious may be discussing matters directly with your spouse or partner. If that is not possible, you should consider mediation.

What about mediation?

During mediation both parties meet with an independent qualified mediator to try and resolve their issues. Many clients find mediation:

  • Useful for addressing financial matters
  • Helpful with setting out arrangements for their children

It is now compulsory to consider mediation before applying to the court for financial orders. If you are interested, we can provide details of several mediators in our area.

How does the Court procedure work (FDAs, FDRs, and Final Hearings)?

Initially, an application is submitted and a fee paid to the court. Next, a hearing date will be allocated and certain paperwork needs to be completed before then.  There should be a brief opportunity to negotiate before the hearing actually happens.  This first appointment is called a First Directions Appointment (FDA).

At the FDA, the Judge can direct the parties to provide any missing disclosure, to seek a joint valuation of a certain asset and to address any other items he feels need dealing with before the case can progress.

A further Court hearing is then listed – a Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment (FDR). Here the Judge can comment on what he feels would be a fair solution and likely outcome if the matter is pursued to a Final Hearing. If all relevant information is to hand for the FDA, the Judge can jump to this second stage straightaway. With judicial input now provided, the parties should feel some encouragement to resolve matters in accordance with the Court’s guidance. If that is not possible, the matter is listed for a Final Hearing.

Most cases settle before a Final Hearing is required. If a Final Hearing is necessary, we ensure that:

  • You have suitable representation by competent Counsel
  • All necessary arrangements are put in place for the hearing

A Judge then decides the final outcome.

What about a Barrister?

We have strong links to leading London and regional Barristers’ Chambers. Where appropriate, we can seek Counsel’s Opinion during the running of the case. For instance, you might like a second opinion on the Court’s possible view on an issue in your case, or there may be an unusual element to your case that requires further investigation.

Getting in touch

Whatever route you adopt to reach settlement of the financial issues arising from your divorce or separation, we strongly recommend you seek our expert guidance. This is not a straightforward area that should be concluded without expert advice.  

For more information on our Financial and Property issues please email Patrick Mulcare or Gemma Davison Alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 01295 204000.