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Financial disclosure always necessary?

Financial matters are something which many people choose to keep private. When going through a divorce, however, it is vital financial disclosure of the marital assets takes place. Otherwise, there could be problems further down the line.

We take a closer look at how financial disclosure works and what could happen if full and frank disclosure does not occur.

What is financial disclosure?

Financial disclosure is when you give a full account of your financial situation to your spouse, together with supporting documents.

It should include both matrimonial assets (ones that you have build up/acquired during your marriage) and non-matrimonial assets.

Disclosure normally takes place through a ‘Form E’.

What is a Form E?

A Form E is a 26-page document which is designed to provide a comprehensive view of each spouse’s financial circumstances.

If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement about your financial settlement, this is the form that you will be required to complete when you apply to the courts to ask a judge to decide your financial settlement for you.

financial disclosure

In reality, this form is often used to build up a picture of each spouse’s financial situation, even when neither party has any intention of going to court, as it provides the information required to begin negotiations.

As well as the form itself, it will be necessary to provide evidence supporting the claims you have made. This could include everything from property valuations to payslips and bank statements.

Opportunity for questions

After the Form Es have been exchanged, there is the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the information provided on your spouse’s form.

This is also the time to bring up any issues. You may think, for example, your spouse has missed something off their form or you could suspect they are not being completely honest about their assets.

In some instances, expert reports may be required to clarify issues.

What happens if full financial disclosure does not take place?

If, after the financial settlement has been agreed, it is discovered that one spouse lied or failed to reveal something (mistakenly or on purpose), the settlement may be reopened.

In addition, if one party is found to have failed to have complied with court orders regarding disclosure, this may be contempt of court and could be punishable with, for example, an order to pay the costs of the other party. It could even result in a prison sentence.

Full and frank financial disclosure is a vital part of the divorce process. Without it, it would be impossible to make sure that the financial settlement upon divorce was reasonable and fair.

Being dishonest about your financial situation or failing to provide information about some of your assets, could cost a great deal of both time and money further down the line.

How can our expert divorce solicitors help you?

Our expert divorce solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues:

Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on financial disclosure

For more information on financial disclosure during divorce call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert divorce solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in our:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Sheffield Office: Pinfold Street, The Balance, Sheffield, S1 2GU

Manchester Office: King Street, Manchester, M2 4PD

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

London Office: 01 Nothumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5BW

Please contact us for more details. 


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25th March 2019

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