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Does a financial settlement need to go to court if you've agreed it yourselves?

(16 Posts)
OhBlissOhJoy Wed 08-Mar-17 22:06:57

We've come to an agreement, I come off better than him for reasons I won't go into as identifying. We'll get the solicitors to draw it up. My solicitor wants us to fill out a form (not a form E, a diluted version) then for it to go to court. His solicitor says there is no need. What are the possible repercussions if we don't?

MrsBertBibby Wed 08-Mar-17 22:41:52

Your solicitor is right.

Either he has misunderstood his solicitor, or s/he is insane.

TreeTop7 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:44:10

He could play dirty after the decree absolute with no court endorsed financial arrangement in place.

What's a "diluted" Form E?

TickledOnion Wed 08-Mar-17 22:53:24

We didn't fill out a form E. We agreed everything amicably between us then my solicitor wrote up a consent order. There was also a "Statement of information for a consent order in relation to a financial remedy" form which had a small amount of financial information that we both had to fill in. We had to get it read out in front of a judge as my ex did not have any legal representation.

OhBlissOhJoy Wed 08-Mar-17 23:09:26

I can't remember what the other form is called. It's similar to a form E but shorter - a financial statement with less detail.
If we do go to court will they automatically grant what we agree? This is starting to sound naive given what I've automatically asked but STBXH wants (needs) his share when the house completes - which is due to happen the same day as the Nisi goes to court - so before the courts can agree the finances.
Thanks for your advice so far.

OhBlissOhJoy Wed 08-Mar-17 23:11:00

Sorry, Tree just to clarify - what you are saying is that a solicitor drawn up agreement has no legal standing, it needs to be heard in court to legalise it? What do you mean by play dirty? Try and renegotiate?

Ellypoo Wed 08-Mar-17 23:18:26

Even if you have an agreement between you, a court has to accept that it's fair before it will give the decree absolute (unless you agree to get the absolute without the court agreement but that can be risky, according to my solicitor)

OhBlissOhJoy Wed 08-Mar-17 23:27:10

Thanks Elly. My worry is what they will consider fair. Hence the post. I paid off a lot of STBXH debt when I got an inheritance and he is paying me back through his equity in the house sale. So I am getting more than him by about £70k. I'm not sure the courts will agree this is fair, that they will say his debts were run up as marital debts as they were while we were married.
He has said (and agreed to put in writing to me and his solicitor) that if the courts rule in his favour he will pay me the difference. I know there is no legal standing in this and it is a risk.

TreeTop7 Thu 09-Mar-17 07:40:05

It's annoying when two consenting and sensible adults come to a friendly financial agreement, taking things that have happened in the past into consideration, and a judge decides they know better. It happened to another poster on here a couple of months ago. I'm not sure how common it is though.

Obviously if one unrepresented party is being bullied by the other person into a blatantly unfair agreement, that's different. Obv not the case here!

incredibule Thu 09-Mar-17 08:29:00

IME we needed a court Consent Order for the financial settlement to be legally binding. Some people do Form E, some don't, you need to be advised properly though, because people can change from being amicable to downright hostile once they see money potentially trickling away.

The debt situation is concerning, get your solicitor to ensure a legal agreement over this, so you are not left high and dry and unable to recover the debt. Verbal agreements are not worth the paper they are written on, as they say.

babybarrister Thu 09-Mar-17 13:22:29

MrsBB and I are both family lawyers. I agree with her. Any lawyer would be insane not to recommend to their client that the agreement is made into an order by the court.

an agreement is an agreement but an order is an order .....

Chasingsquirrels Thu 09-Mar-17 13:26:40

Not getting a financial order sealed by the court would not be advisable. Get it sorted and signed off then there isn't any comeback.

Mine - the court just signed it off.
DH - the court wanted to see them both, as it turned out to make sure his ex was happy with the arrangements. It was v short and then they signed it off.

OhBlissOhJoy Thu 09-Mar-17 13:47:30

@babybarrier but if STBXH has agreed he will pay me whatever the courts say can they actually stop him? My situation is quite unusual I know.
Chasing - that is encouraging that they spoke to them both to check.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 09-Mar-17 13:51:31

Yes - again if it is just an agreement rather than an order at some point in the future even after divorce either of you could ask for money from the other eg. if you won the lottery or received an inheritance. It will also protect whatever has been agreed regarding pensions etc. and should cover restricting inheriting from each other's estate.

Sometimes the court may want to see a party/both parties to ensure that they understand what they have agreed to especially if it seems over generous to one party.

babybarrister Thu 09-Mar-17 14:15:37

the courts will only enforce orders - NOT agreements

if you suddenly win the lottery and there is no order then your ex has a further claim on you

OhBlissOhJoy Thu 09-Mar-17 15:40:57

Thanks for all your advice, I have been to see my solicitor and his advice is that it should go to court.
He doesn't know why STBXH's solicitor has advised him otherwise, unless he is planning on making a future claim towards my pension!

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