Reaching a financial settlement in the Coronavirus pandemic
There will be many couples out there who are already separated or unfortunately soon will be once the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown ends. Part of the legal process of separation is dividing up assets and agreeing settlement terms so that each party can continue to live their lives independently from each other.
The first step to reaching a financial agreement is ordinarily the exchange of financial disclosure. Even if you are not in court proceedings, the exchange of financial information is usually done or based on Form E. This document allows the parties to set out their finances in the same format.
With the majority of people working remotely there may be a slight delay in exchanging documentation but provided the information is electronic, most solicitor firms have ways of sending such information securely. It also may be difficult for accurate financial disclosure to be provided. Private pensions are likely to be impacted by the fluctuation of stocks and shares.
Form E also asks the parties to estimate what their income might be for the next 12 months. In light of these changing times, many people may find this a difficult question to answer. In particular, those who are self-employed, depending on the industry that they work in, may find themselves putting a question mark in this box.
If you have any questions about reaching a financial settlement during the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact us.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.