If you are researching divorce or civil partnership dissolution proceedings, or are currently in the process of obtaining a divorce, you may have frequently seen or heard the term ‘Form E’.
In situations where a divorcing or dissolving party is able to agree to a voluntary divorce financial arrangement that they wish to make legally binding to ensure no future claims can be made against their finances, the court will require each party to fill out and submit to the court a Form E. A solicitor can provide specialist advice and assistance by completing a Form E.
Here, we will clearly explain what a Form E is, what assets need to be disclosed, whether it is compulsory during divorce proceedings, how to complete a Form E and whether the assistance of a solicitor is necessary.
What is a Form E?
Form E, sometimes referred to as ‘E Form’ or ‘Form E Financial Statement’, is a document required by the court during divorce or dissolution proceedings where the divorcing or dissolving party wishes to have their mutually agreed financial arrangement legally binding.
Form E requires financial disclosure of someone’s financial position, including their income, assets and liabilities, as well as their financial needs and obligations, including those of any children to the marriage/civil partnership. This is required so that the court can determine whether the agreement meets both parties’ financial needs.
What assets need to be disclosed in a Form E?
Examples of the assets a Form E will require disclosure of include:
- All types of bank accounts
- Shares and investments
- Business assets
- Pensions, including both private and workplace pensions
- Property, including the family home, investment properties, oversea properties, etc.
- Debts, for example, mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc., whether these are sole or joint debts
- Vehicles, including cars, motorbikes, boats, etc.
- Personal possessions, artwork, antiques, etc.
Is Form E compulsory in divorce?
Completing a Form E is only compulsory in circumstances where the divorcing/dissolving party are going through the courts to deal with their financial issues. This is then made legally binding through a financial consent order under the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.
During the court application process for a financial consent order, both parties will be asked by the court to fill out a Form E due to the full financial disclosure it provides the court with, helping to find an appropriate division of finances, including whether spousal maintenance is necessary.
Should you divide your assets privately without the involvement of the court, there is no legal requirement for you to fill out a Form E.
How do I complete a Form E?
When completing a Form E, there are a number of different sections which need filling. These sections and the information required include:
1. General information about each party
- Details of your children, including that of their health and education requirements
- Details of your health
- Details of where you habitually reside
- Details of the ownership of your home
2. Financial information
- Sole or joint property ownership
- Bank accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Personal belongings valued at more than £500
3. Details of debts and liabilities
- Credit cards
- Hire Purchase Agreements (HPA) or Personal Contact Purchases (PCP)
- Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
4. Details of business assets and directorships
- Business interests
- Business accounts
- Tax information
- Directorships held or previously held in the previous 12 months
5. Details of pensions
Details of your private/workplace pensions (this does not include Basic State Pension).
6. Details of income
- Income you earn from employment
- Income you earn from self-employment or a partnership
- Income you earn from investments, dividends, interest or rental property
- Income from state benefits
- All other income
7. Financial needs for each party and their children
- How much income you and your children will need/be expected to live on, whether that be weekly, monthly or annually
- Expected income changes, this could include things like rent increases
8. Any other information
- Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage/civil partnership
- Whether your financial circumstances have changed significantly within the last 12 months
- Contributions made by either party, including both financial and non-financial
- Plans to remarry
9. Details of the requested financial consent order
In this section, the court will need to understand how you wish your finances to be split.
10. Statement of truth
The court requires each party to fill and sign a ‘Statement of Truth’, which confirms that everything provided is entirely correct and fully represents their financial position and needs.
11. Supporting documentation
The court will require evidence to support your financial position. A schedule of documents will clearly state which documentation is included in the Form E.
Do I need a solicitor when completing a Form E?
Completing a Form E can be a time-consuming process that needs proficient attention to detail when completing to ensure it is accurate and comprehensive and leads to the best chance of a straightforward division of finances.
Our solicitors have a wealth of collective expertise working with a wide range of clients going through divorce proceedings, and our team can consult you and provide complete guidance on everything involved, including correctly completing a Form E that reflects your financial position, helping you to achieve a consent order which is in your best financial interest and in line with your agreed division.
Without the support of a solicitor, there is the potential for mistakes to occur, and for this reason, it is highly encouraged to seek the support of a solicitor.
Speak to our divorce financial specialists in Bristol, Bath and Bradford on Avon
For pragmatic, constructive and sensible advice on your divorce finances, including help with completing a form E, please contact your local team in Bath, Bristol or Bradford on Avon.