It makes no sense to exaggerate or underplay your budgets when filing our your Form E. Your future housing needs and income requirements are some of the most critical parts of your Form E, so investigate and do your homework before submitting this information to the court.
When drawing up a financial settlement following divorce, the courts will take a long hard look at each spouse’s future earning capacity and may set this against their needs for financial support – ie maintenance – both before and after retirement.
For example, can you go out to work if you haven’t worked for the last 10 years? Can you work if there are young children to look after?
Increasingly the view is that ‘non-matrimonial’ assets – i.e.
those not acquired in the course of the marriage – should be ring-fenced once reasonable needs have been met.
What is “reasonable”, however, may vary from one case to another, and depends on the parties’ usual standard of living during the marriage.
One partner may be required to pay maintenance – or alimony as it is known in other countries – to the other less wealthy partner.Once they have done so, the settlement becomes a binding ‘financial order’.Financial settlements used to be called ‘ancillary relief’ because they were seen as ancillary to the main event, the petition for divorce. Surely it is the financial settlement that is the main event?That is after all what is going to shape your and your children’s lives for however many years to come.Generally reaching the financial settlement stage comes as a relief to divorcing couples.In the majority of cases though, this point is irrelevant, because there is barely enough to meet the parties’ needs.