Everything but the kitchen sink!

Why your Form E has to be so detailed

paperworkOne question we’re commonly asked by our clients is why they have to put so much detail in their Form E – it feels like there’s a question on everything but the kitchen sink. In this article we explain what the purpose of the Form E is and why it’s important to go into such depth in the form.

So what is Form E?

Form E is the name for the Financial Statement for financial order. It’s a 28 page form used to summarise your finances when you apply for a court order relating to matrimonial finances. It’s also very useful if you decide to stay out of court and want to disclose your finances in relation to a voluntary agreement.

The Form E summarises the state of your finances relating to property, bank account, earned and unearned income and any debts you have. Don’t be daunted by the length of the form – not all of it will apply to you.

The detail is provided by the supporting documentation that you send to Court alongside the Form E. You will have to provide 12 months’ bank statements for each account you have, a recent mortgage statement, dividend statements, pay slips, etc.

Why so much detail?

The last thing you want to do is provide pages and pages of detailed financial information, and in fact this might be quite difficult for you at a time of great change in yours and your family’s life. But it is vital that you do so. The old saying goes ‘You don’t ask, you don’t get’ and it’s the same with financial disclosure. The Court only sees what you put in front of it and if you forget to include a big annual cost in your outgoings like an insurance premium, or a small, regular cost like petrol the Court can’t make allowances for it in any settlement you receive or is made against you.

So now you know what the Form E does and why you need so much detail. Take a look at our top tips and if you need further help or information on Form E or any aspect of relationship finances, call us or use our contact form to get in touch.

  1. Be honest – don’t lie or exaggerate your situation;
  2. Take your time. Complete the form and gather the information over a few nights so it’s not overwhelming;
  3. Think ahead and think back. There is space on the form to write why your finances have changed over the last year and why it might change over the next year or so.
  4. Remember to split the value of any joint assets you own with the other party. If you forget to split the value of a property or a bank account it will present your finances in a better light than they really are.
  5. Get help if you need it. Even if you’ve started filling in the Form E alone, it’s not too late to get help from a solicitor. A solicitor will have completed Form E countless times so will be able to make the process quicker and easier for you – and make sure complete it properly, helping to get your fair share!

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