Form E – what is it and why you need it

The Form E is a financial statement used in financial remedy proceedings in divorce. This statement sets out each spouse’s financial circumstances and must be supported by documentary evidence, such as bank statements, wage slips, financial accounts, property valuations etc. It is a comprehensive and detailed document which assists the court and the parties’ lawyers in understanding the financial position of the parties as well as understanding what each party is looking to achieve in the proceedings.

The Form E is integral to the financial remedy process and the court is unwilling to advance litigation, without both spouses filing and serving their respective financial statements.

Often, because of the comprehensive nature of the Form E, many solicitors will ask parties to complete it even if there are no court proceedings. In addition to setting out the financial position of each party, it includes key dates such as the date of marriage, the date of separation, dates of births for the parties and any children. There are also sections in the Form E that allows each party to set out narrative regarding the standard of living during the marriage, any contributions they have made to the marriage as well as any other issues with they believe should be taken into account when dividing up the matrimonial assets.

Forms E are often completed with the assistance of a solicitor. Where the finances of the marriage are particularly complex, clients can enlist the assistance of experts such as accountants to complete the document.

If Forms E are being completed in court proceedings, the parties will usually be ordered to complete it at least 35 days before the first hearing and exchange it with one another as well as filing it with the court. It is important for both parties to be advised of their obligation to the court at that stage to give full and frank disclosure. This duty remains ongoing throughout the court process. If it transpires that a party has not been honest and it resulted in a material change to the outcome of the case, the court has the power to ‘set aside’ the order.

As mentioned above, Forms E can be daunting to complete and the implications of incorrectly completing this document or omitting information can be serious. If you are separating from your spouse and you wish to resolve the finances of the marriage either in or out of court, it is imperative that you seek legal advice from experienced, specialist family solicitors. Contact us on 0207 177 9777 or 01234 889777 for a free consultation.