What is a Form E?
Updated: Mar 26
Contents of this Article:
What is a FORM E?
A Form E is a 27 page document that can be very daunting when it is first considered. It is also
known as a Financial Statement.
This is a very important document as it allows both parties to a separation or a divorce to disclose all of the income, capital, pensions and liabilities of the relationship.
A Form E can be ordered to be completed by the Court or if the parties are going through mediation, in the hope to avoid court proceedings, then the Form E is completed and exchanged via the mediator.
Why Do I Need a Form E?
When two people decide to formally separate or divorce there are many difficulties and decisions that will be encountered. The finances of a marriage and how they are to be divided is an extremely difficult and emotive topic.
To ensure that both parties have all of the information about the financial position of the other the Form E is completed and then they are exchanged.
The parties must provide 12 months documentary evidence of everything that is disclosed. The Form E will then allow for realistic financial discussions take place taking into account the needs of both parties, and in situations where there are children of the marriage, their needs and living costs must also be considered
How do I complete a Form E?
The Form E can be very daunting but it is worthwhile. You should start by compiling all of the information you will need, including but not limited to:
12 months of bank statements for all of your accounts
And a full and comprehensive list of your living costs.
The Form E is clearly set out in 5 sections dealing with all of the above.
Please remember the importance of being able to prove everything declared - otherwise it may cast the impression you are purposefully concealing/fabricating information, even though this is not the case.
When should I file or use a Form E?
There are different options in respect of this as it depends if it has been ordered by the court or if the parties are trying to reach an agreement through mediation.
If either party files a Form A within divorce proceedings this means that you have issued an application for ancillary relief (which is another way of saying “financial settlement”). This is the application that deals with the financial aspects of the divorce.
After filing the Form A at court, directions will be set for both parties to file their respective Form E’s by a specific date and after which both parties will then have the opportunity to raise questions or queries about the disclosure. These questions may be because some supporting documentation is missing or to raise a question on specific outgoings of the other party.
The court will then be asked to determine, on the information provided and in line with the needs of both parties, what and how the finances should be divided.
If the parties are attempting to resolve matters, without court intervention, then this document allows the parties to reach a fair and equitable agreement between themselves, or with the use of a mediator.
Any agreement, whether by consent or via order of the court is then clearly set out in a Consent Order which is signed by both parties.
What happens if I lie in a Form E? What happens if my ex lies in a Form E?
As set out above, the exchange of these documents can be on a date agreed by the parties or in line with a court direction within the ancillary relief (financial settlement) proceedings.
A Form E is a long and detailed document with a large amount of information to be gathered, especially in circumstances where there are businesses, directorships, private pensions and investments involved.
The idea is that by having all of this information available, a fair agreement can be reached regarding the division of the assets, pensions and income.
Should the information that you provide be untruthful or should you attempt to hide income or assets then the other party can of course raise questions in respect of those and also should it be apparent that a party failed to adequately disclose or obstruct full and frank disclosure the matter could be brought back before the court for the order to varied.
If a party is continuously obstructive to the proceedings or disclosure the court can also make an award of costs against that party meaning they will be fully responsible for the legal costs of both parties.
The Form E must be signed and dated. It is a legal exchange of information that you are declaring is true.
If your Form E is untruthful, it may result in you going back to the courts and even having to pay for the legal costs of both parties.
Do I need a solicitor for the Form E? Do I need to go to the Court for a Form E?
Obtaining advice from a solicitor regarding the financial aspects of a divorce or legal separation is entirely a decision for you.
However, The Form E can be completed without the use of a solicitor and the use of the courts but it is sensible to ensure you have all the information from the other party and have full knowledge of what options would be available with regards to the division of the assets, income and pensions.
If you and the other party feel that negotiations and discussions can take place without the need for court intervention then you can seek assistance from a mediator who will consider the information and help with regards to your discussions, negotiations and drafting the consent order.
If the matter is such that you require courts assistance then you should file a Form A at the court which will instigate the start of Ancillary Relief proceedings and relevant directions for disclosure.
The division of the matrimonial assets can become very stressful and unfortunately can often cause animosity between the parties.
It is extremely important to ensure that this division is fair and equitable to both parties and the children of the marriage. Therefore the full and frank financial disclosure of both parties set out in the Form E is paramount to reaching any financial settlement.