Here for you: Please note that Brookman’s services remain uninterrupted during this time. Read more

Financial Dispute Resolution

There are various ways in which a financial dispute during divorce can be negotiated and overcome. Here we explain the primary methods.

Negotiation Between Solicitors

Both parties instruct solicitors who then engage in correspondence. Both parties set out full information as to their capital and income. This can be done by way of basic schedules with some supporting evidence such as bank statements, valuations etc. Alternatively many solicitors require this to be done more formally by using the financial statement that is used by the court, known as Form E. (See our Financial Settlements Page.)

The solicitors enter into negotiations with a view to reaching a financial settlement. At any stage either party can make an application to the court, for example if they do not feel the other party is being frank in their disclosure or is not adopting a reasonable stance in negotiations. If an application is made to the court then the case becomes managed by a court process which ultimately culminates in a final contested hearing. However, a case can settle at any stage and most cases do settle before the final hearing. Clearly a court application increases costs and so it is sensible to consider at the outset if a court application is warranted.

 

Mediation

Both parties are referred to an independent mediator who arranges a series of meetings. Usually it follows after initial meeting with their own lawyers who will agree on the mediator. A mediator is usually a trained lawyer by background. However, their role is to facilitate discussion but not to advise the individual parties in dealing with finances. Both parties would be required to fill out financial statements used by the mediator, which are usually very similar to the court-style Form E. The mediator would facilitate discussion between you with a view to allowing parties to find their own solution.

Parties can mediate on individual issues such as finances or children or indeed on all issues. Mediation can reduce legal costs and help in preserving a good relationship between you and your spouse. However it is not a panacea and often can be drawn out and fruitless. It is not recommended where one party is fearful of the other or susceptible to being bullied or pressured into an agreement. It is of course possible for the parties to consult with their solicitors throughout the mediation process and in any event once agreement is reached in mediation it would have to be referred back to lawyers to formalise into a legally binding order.

 

Collaborative Law

This is a relatively new process initially developed in USA. It is in many ways like negotiation between solicitors. The lawyers arrange a series of 4-way meetings with a view to dealing with all the issues and reaching agreement. All parties have to sign up at the outset to a ‘participation agreement’. This would mean that you would both agree not to go to court unless or until the collaborative process failed. Further if the process failed i.e. did not result in resolution, then neither party is allowed to continue to use the same solicitor for the court process. Reference can be made to the Resolution website for more information.

 

“Collaborative Law-Lite”

This is collaborative law but where the solicitors are not precluded from further acting. It is difficult then to see how it is anything other than a trendy name for negotiation between solicitors.

 

Timing

In the final analysis the courts are here to achieve a just outcome. The court process encourages negotiation in any case, so if your dispute is not getting resolved by another means, you can and should first get on with putting the matter into the court process. Only the court process can impose a conclusion regardless of the other party’s refusal to reach an agreement. Therefore time spent on alternative dispute resolution can delay a conclusion, and you only achieve a reliable timetable if you issue a court application.

Enquire Now

Got a question about resolving a financial dispute? ask us now...

Kindly complete the form below to send an enquiry.
Your message will be sent to one of our solicitors.
Everything you send in this form is secured and encrypted the moment you submit it.
Discretion is guaranteed.


  • 1. Personal Information:

  • You do not need to provide a telephone number, however, it is helpful for us should our email response not be successfully delivered to you
  • 2. More Information

    Is there anything else you would like to tell us at this stage?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What our clients are saying:

‘LJ’, Australia (June 2020)

“I am writing to thank you for your work about 19.5yrs ago helping me register for child support in Australia as this claim has only just come to fruition. The Australian Child Support Agency have been tenacious and have taken the father to court but he successfully defended himself by structuring all his finances jointly with his partner. As a New Zealander living in Australia for 30yrs+ he is now seeking citizenship and I presume that is why the very first cheque has finally arrived, to remove defaults from his record.

At the time, as a single parent with a sick baby, feeling vulnerable, your clear and calm support helped me enormously… You also helped retrieve funds from him when he was apprehended factoring money…  It has been a long wait of two decades, thank you again.”


Google Reviews

Brookman Solicitors

96 Reviews

Natalie Roche 11/12/2020

Very helpful, and honest about my situation even though it wasn’t business for them at this time. Would recommend.

John Du 09/12/2020

Knowledgeable, friendly, considerate, and most importantly easy to contact. Brilliant service.

Dinh Trinh 04/12/2020

Mr Brookman is professional and dealt with my case quickly. I am very happy with the service and would recommend to anyone.

Jessica Littlemore 03/12/2020

I dealt directly with both Sarah Brookman and Lorraine Imms and felt that they both delivered both in a consistent and professional manner. I felt in safe hands with a very personal and sensitive situation. They were always available to answer my questions and helped me through the process step by step.

Vincent Monloys 01/12/2020

I was looking for initial advice that would take into account my requirements and give me realistic answers regarding my case. Mr Bookman kindly took a fairly long time to provide the advice I was looking for and even more than I was expecting. I was very impressed with the quality of service provided by Brookman Solicitors overall and would definitely recommend them.