Guide to Completing your Financial Statement
The Financial Statement (previously a Form E) is a vital part of your financial case. As you may already be aware financial proceedings are “front loaded”. This means that all the ‘cards are put on the table’ at the beginning of your court case in the hope that settlement will be able to be reached sooner rather than later.
The Financial Statement needs to include all your facts and circumstances in a financial sense – world wide.It may look like a “tick a box” document but it is in fact an Affidavit or Sworn Statement. It is the same as you standing in the witness box, under oath, explaining your financial circumstances (and future needs) to a Judge in court. Therefore your Financial Statement needs to be as full, honest and accurate as possible; if you are found to have been untruthful in what you put in your Form E (or what you fail to put in your Form E) you may be guilty of perjury.
It is also the case that you need to be able to prove any figure or statement that you allege in this document. For this reason, supporting documentation is always required in support of a Financial Statement. Failure to provide documentation now (such as bank statements or company accounts etc) will only mean that an order for their production may well be made at the First Appointment (the first hearing in financial proceedings arising from divorce). This will open you up to criticism by the court, will delay your case and unnecessarily increase your costs.
The courts take Financial Statements very seriously. Recent judgments have made it very clear that a party who is found to have knowingly misled the court as to their financial circumstances in Financial Statement will be penalised. Though Rayden Solicitors will assist you in preparing this document – the onus and duty to give disclosure accurately and fully rests solely with you.
The Financial Statement is a time consuming document to complete. It can, quite literally, take a month or so of preparation. Therefore the sooner you get your Financial Statement together with the documents asked for and back to us, the better. Your solicitor will then be able to make further comments or request further information.
It is very much the case that the more work you put into your Form E the better it will be, the more cost effective your case will be and the better prepared we will be to present your case.
Finally, it is worth noting that your Financial Statement should be a snapshot of your financial circumstances as they are now. All information supplied needs to be current and to the minute. Where you need to contact third parties such as banks, mortgage providers or pension providers. please do so swiftly as the response from these institutions can be quite slow.
Julian qualified as a barrister and solicitor in his native Australia in 1996. He is dual qualified and has practiced family law in England since 2002. Since then, Julian has concentrated on resolving financial disputes involving high net worth individuals and families with wealth held in a variety of different structures or jurisdictions as well as individuals with a modest to "comfortable" income. He has extensive experience dealing with a broad spectrum of matters including divorce , financial matters , children matters , separation agreements, cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements , postnuptial agreements and financial provision for children of unmarried couples or civil partnerships. Julian’s approach is best described as "aggressive pragmatism".
The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.