Financial and Property Issues

Resolving financial claims between divorcing or separating couples is a key part of our work.  Where possible, we endeavour to pursue effective negotiation outside the Courtroom. We adopt a robust attitude to contested proceedings whenever this is not possible.

What kind of cases do you deal with?

Our team deals with a wide range of financial cases ranging from very limited asset cases to those of very high net worth. Our highest value case to date involved assets worth in the region of £20 million. We are equally comfortable acting for the financially stronger spouse or the party in a weaker position, and always seek to find an efficient financial solution to your problem.

Spratt Endicott offers a fully managed service to negotiate a financial settlement or guide you through the Court process if necessary. We can provide you with as much or as little legal support as you may require.

What procedures does Spratt Endicott recommend?

Initially, and in accordance with Resolution protocol, we recommend the open and amicable pursuit of financial disclosure (i.e. production of all financial details). Where this is not feasible, we recommend issuing Court proceedings.  This has the benefit of:

  • Setting a timetable
  • Requiring both parties to ensure all their financial information is provided
  • Ensuring there is a binding and enforceable outcome

When negotiations fail to achieve the necessary outcome regarding the division of capital assets and provide for sufficient ongoing income, an application can be made to the Court. This can be done rapidly if there is an urgent requirement for maintenance, for example. We can then assist you throughout the Court procedure.

We always recommend that divorcing couples obtain a court order within their divorce proceedings, in order to:

  • Record any financial matters agreed between them and make them binding and enforceable
  • Conclude their financial relationship as far as possible

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 investigate mediation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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

For more information please email Patrick Mulcare pmulcare@se-law.co.uk or Gemma Davison gdavison@se-law.co.uk. Alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 01295 204000.