How to handle your own divorce proceedings - Finance

If you have reached agreement with your spouse on a division of the family finances, you may ask the court at any time after the pronouncement of decree nisi to incorporate that agreement into a final financial order within the divorce proceedings.

You would be wise to seek legal advice on the agreement at this stage and to ask your solicitor to draft the agreement into a document suitable for the court, if you have not already done so. The registrar of the court is very likely to ask you both to attend a meeting so that he can speak to you about the agreement.

You will also be asked to complete a form (Rule 76A Form) which is a statement giving the following information:

(a) The duration of the marriage;

(b) The age of each spouse and the age of any minor children of the family;

(c) An estimate of the amount of capital of each spouse and any minor child;

38 Divorce and Separation

(d) The net income of each spouse and any minor child of the family;

(e) Details of the arrangements for the accommodation of each spouse and any minor child of the family;

(f) Whether either spouse has remarried or has any present intention of remarriage or co-habitation with another person;

(g) Where the order provides for a transfer of property, confirmation that any mortgagee of that property has been served with notice of the application and that within 14 days of service no objection has been made to the transfer;

(h) Any other specifically relevant matters.

If the registrar is satisfied that each spouse has disclosed their true financial position to the other and that, in the circumstances, the financial agreement appears fair and just, he will make an order in those terms and a sealed copy of the order will be sent to you and your spouse in due course.

Generally, it will be possible for you to handle the financial side of your divorce proceedings only if you believe your spouse to be open and honest with you.

Even if this is the case, it is sensible to check any financial agreement with a solicitor. One hour spent with a solicitor taking basic advice and checking any agreement may save you much time, heartache and legal costs in the future.

Most people who deal with their own divorce proceedings tend to be young couples with no children where each party has an income and there is little or no property. In this sort of case only the mechanics of obtaining a decree of divorce are relevant and the couple may handle the process following the guidelines above.

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Looking after the children

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