If you have separated or have started a divorce, you may have heard the term “full and frank disclosure” from your Solicitor. But what does this mean?
Usually this arises in the context of providing financial information to your ex-partner. Your Solicitor may have suggested that it is sensible for certain information to be provided on the basis that your ex-partner provides similar “full and frank” disclosure.
You may feel reluctant to provide information and documentation to your ex, but here are some reasons why this may be a good route to take:-
Being open and honest and providing this disclosure is also likely to speed up the whole process and avoid the need to go through potentially lengthy and expensive Court proceedings.
So far I have discussed “full and frank disclosure” within a Divorce and how it assists in ensuring that both parties are fully aware of each other's financial position and enables their Solicitors to properly advise their clients as to the fairest settlement in their particular circumstances.
Full and frank disclosure can take place either voluntarily, or within Court proceedings. If Court proceedings have started then the Court will make directions that both parties comply with certain tasks by set dates prior to the first Court hearing. The first date directed by the Court will be the date by which a Form E will need to be filed at Court and served upon the other party.
A Form E is a lengthy document (currently 28 pages) which enables each party to set out in detail their financial position and requests that certain documentation (such as bank statements, payslips, pension valuations etc) are disclosed. If a Form E is completed properly then it provides a comprehensive view of that person's financial situation. If not completed properly then the next task includes preparation of a questionnaire (known as a “request for further information and documentation” which will ask for any missing information or raise further questions about the information supplied.
Forms E may still be completed and exchanged, prior to (or instead of Court proceedings) and will often assist parties in reaching an agreement.