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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.

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“I was very grateful for the professional and sensitive handling of all my enquiries at the outset of what is proving to be a difficult time for me. Your knowledge and expertise helped to commence proceedings on the right footing.”


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Brookman Solicitors

70 Reviews

Yesima Hamid 04/09/2020

I want to highly commend Brookman Solicitors firm. I had the privilege of getting very thorough and sensible advice from their solicitor Jennifer Douglas. I don't have enough praise for her. She made me feel at ease and 'got me' and understood very well all the issues and her advice was on point. I felt she had my interest at heart in all the different matters. She was very accommodating and willing. She truly made a difference. She has great insight and I truly recommend her and the firm. They are very professional with the human touch.

Roohie Mahajan 16/08/2020

I am so happy that I hired their services. I am from India and it was my international divorce case. My ex husband is in the UK. I had a free telephone conversation with Henry Brookman and I was so satisfied that without even meeting him I was so confident. My case was handled in the best way possible.

He is probably the one of the best lawyers in the world. He is extremely competent, professional, intelligent and empathetic. The only lawyer who genuinely work to help you rather than making money. He is a very experienced lawyer and he saved me so much money. He is so calm and kind towards his approach. He is the most genuine person I have come across.

I just came to London once to attend my hearing. My husband and his solicitors made it so complicated. My ex husband has to spend double the amount of legal fees than me. This is the difference between hiring a good experienced lawyer. Their fees might be expensive but good lawyer will make you save money at the end. Finally at the end I won the case and my husband has to pay all my legal fees without me travelling to the UK. I will always be eternally grateful to Henry Brookman and Brookman Solicitors. I am falling short of words to praise them.

I highly recommend their services. Keep up the good work.

Jen Ade 23/07/2020

I had an initial consultation and Henry was well prepared. He gave great advice and followed through quite quickly. He was very helpful.

Chris Mullins 15/07/2020

Henry and team were most professional, considerate and efficient when handling the financial proceedings owing to my overseas divorce. I recommend their services highly. International circumstance was at first to me most daunting and confusing, given each country had its' own unique approach. Thankfully Henry was knowledgeable of the law on either side of the seas and able therefore to provide best guidance and reasoning to me which enabled favourable settlement!

Wim Jansen 24/06/2020

I contacted Brookman to ask for information regarding the validity of an international divorce court ruling. They were very quick in providing me with the right information. When I had another question a few months later around children matters I phoned them again and after taking some background information and contact details they booked me in for a free telephone consultation with 1 of their partners Talitha Brookman. She spent half an hour of her time explaining to me what I could expect and provided legal advice. All was free of charge. I would not hesitate to contact them again should any matter become more formal and have to go through court. The service has been quick, professional and very friendly.