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Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearings: What to expect
The purpose of a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing is to help parties going through a divorce or civil partnership dissolution to reach a mutual agreement about their finances.
Parties going through a divorce or civil partnership dissolution in England and Wales can attend a Financial Dispute Resolution hearing to discuss the financial aspects of their separation, with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement without having to go to trial.
In this article we will cover some of the key points to consider when attending an FDR hearing:
- What is a financial dispute resolution (FDR)?
- How to prepare for an FDR hearing?
- What happens at an FDR hearing?
- What happens if a settlement is not reached at the FDR hearing?
- How much does an FDR hearing cost?
For specific advice on Financial Dispute Resolution hearings, please get in touch with our specialist divorce solicitors across London, Bristol and Bath by calling 020 3281 7887 or contact your local Crisp & Co office.
What is Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR)?
Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a legal process in England and Wales that is used to resolve financial disputes between parties who are getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership.
The FDR process is designed to help the parties reach an agreement on how to divide their assets and finances without the need for a costly and time-consuming trial.
During the FDR process, the parties and their legal representatives attend a hearing before a judge. The judge acts as a mediator and tries to facilitate a negotiation between the parties to reach a financial settlement.
The parties will typically present their financial positions to the judge and may also provide evidence such as bank statements, valuations of assets, and other financial documents. The judge may provide a non-binding opinion on what they believe would be a fair settlement, based on the evidence presented and their knowledge of the law.
If the parties reach an agreement during the FDR process, they will sign a consent order that will be submitted to the court for approval and their financial litigation will conclude
How to prepare for an FDR hearing?
There are various steps involved in the FDR process. By correctly preparing for the hearing, you can give yourself the best chance of a smooth and faster financial resolution to your divorce or dissolution, that protects your interests.
Gather financial documents - It's important to gather all relevant financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, pension statements, and property valuations. These documents will be used to support your case and provide evidence of your financial position.
Prepare a summary of your financial position - Prepare a summary of your financial position, including your income, assets, and debts. This will help you to present your case clearly and concisely to the judge.
Consider your priorities - Before the hearing, think about what is most important to you in terms of the financial settlement. Consider what assets you want to retain, and what you would be willing to compromise on.
Review the law - Familiarise yourself with the law relating to financial settlements in divorce or civil partnership dissolution cases. This will help you to understand what the judge is likely to consider when making a decision.
Prepare for negotiation - Be prepared to negotiate with the other party during the hearing. Consider what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not willing to compromise on.
Seek legal advice - It's important to seek legal advice before the hearing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal process. A solicitor can advise you on what to expect during the hearing and help you to prepare your case.
For a free initial consultation on Financial Dispute Resolution hearings, please get in touch with our specialist divorce solicitors across London, Bristol and Bath by calling 020 3281 7887 or contact your local Crisp & Co office.
What happens at an FDR hearing?
During a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing, both parties involved in a divorce or civil partnership dissolution meet with a judge to try and reach a financial settlement agreement.
Before the hearing you will usually meet with your solicitor and barrister. They will clarify what result you are hoping to achieve and discuss with you the potential outcomes of the case.
Once the hearing is underway, the barristers representing each of the parties will have the opportunity to present their client’s financial positions to the judge, this may include details of their income, assets, debts and pensions.
It could also involve the exchange of evidence such as bank statements, valuations of assets, and other financial documents.
During the next stage, the judge will facilitate a negotiation between the parties to try and reach a financial settlement. This may involve providing an indication of what they believe would be a fair settlement based on the evidence presented.
The discussions held during the FDR hearing are usually confidential, meaning that they cannot be used as evidence in any subsequent court proceedings. If a settlement is reached, the parties will be asked to sign a consent order, which will be submitted to the court for approval.
It's important to note that the FDR hearing is not a final decision, and that the judge's role is to encourage the parties to reach an agreement however the judge’s opinion is non-binding and will not be referred to at a final hearing.
What happens if a settlement is not reached at the FDR hearing?
If no settlement is reached, the case will proceed to a final hearing. The final hearing in a is the last stage in the legal process if a settlement cannot be reached at the FDR hearing.
At the final hearing, a judge will make a final decision on the financial settlement between the parties involved in the divorce or civil partnership dissolution.
During the final hearing, both parties will present their case to the judge, including evidence of their financial positions. This will often involve both parties giving evidence themselves.
The judge will then make a decision on the division of assets, maintenance payments, and any other financial matters.
The financial settlement made at the final hearing is legally binding, and both parties will be required to comply with the terms of the order made by the judge.
How much does a Financial Dispute Resolution hearing cost?
The cost of a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing can vary depending on a range of factors, including the complexity of the case, the location of the court, and whether you have legal representation.
There will also be a standard court fee to pay, in order to submit your application.
Why choose Crisp & Co to support you through your Financial Dispute Resolution hearing?
For more than two decades, Crisp & Co has been providing specialised legal advice and representation to clients dealing with all aspects of separation and divorce.
Our dedicated focus on family law has enabled us to develop a profound understanding of the various issues that can arise during divorce proceedings, including financial settlements and arrangements for children.
Additionally, we have extensive experience in handling legal matters related to same-sex marriages and civil partnerships.
Our approach is centred on alternative dispute resolution methods such as collaborative law and mediation.
We are proud to have several Resolution members on our team - a community of family lawyers dedicated to resolving family disputes amicably. Our collaborative lawyers are also trained in non-confrontational approaches to dispute resolution.
Our commitment to non-adversarial approaches ensures that we can help you achieve a faster and more cost-effective divorce, while maintaining a positive relationship with your former partner. Our goal is to simplify the divorce process and reduce stress for all parties involved.
Get in touch with our divorce solicitors across London, Bristol and Bath
If you need assistance with initiating or responding to FDR divorce proceedings, reaching a financial settlement, or making arrangements for children, we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.