Disclaimer
These guides do not in any way represent legal advice.
All guides are produced as a 'layperson' and 'informed friend'.
 
  Our Ancillary Relief Guide  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ancillary Relief Flow Chart
 
 
 
 
 
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Flow Chart
 
 
STEP 1: Divorce Application

One of the parties must have submitted a divorce application or petition before an application for ancillary relief can be made.

Please note that for cohabitees, there is an alternative application process. There is no legal basis for being a 'Common Law Spouse'.

 
 
STEP 2: The MIAM

Unless exemptions apply, you will have to attend a MIAM, a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting to determine whether mediation is suitable. You can only proceed towards an application for ancillary relief if mediation is not suitable or rejected by either party.

The mediator can sign your application Form A enabling the application to be submitted to court.

 
 
STEP 3: Submit the Form A

Submit the Form A and 3 copies to the court.

Court Fee is 255

The court will serve a copy of the application on the respondent within 4 days of the filing.

The court will set the first hearing between 14-16 weeks of filing the application.

 
 
STEP 4: Preparing for the First Appointment Hearing

Both parties will receive written directions from the court explaining exactly what they need to do and the times and dates actions need to be completed.

In summary:

Both parties must complete and simultaneously exchange with each other and submit to the court the Form E.

At least 14 days before the the First Appointment, each party must serve on each other and file to the court :

a) Issues Statement: Outlining the issues between the parties.

b) Chronology

c) Questionnaire setting out any further information or disclosures/ documents required from the other side.

d) Form G stating whether that party will be in a position at the first appointment to proceed to a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) appointment.

Where pensions are being considered, a statement summerising the way in which the valuation is calculated, this being the cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) and the pension benefits which are included in a valuation. Any valuation must be within 12 months of the first appointment date and onc received it must be disclosed to the other party within 7 days.

 
 
STEP 5: Preparing for the First Appointment Hearing

Both parties will receive written directions from the court explaining exactly what they need to do and the times and dates actions need to be completed.

In summary:

Both parties must complete and simultaneously exchange with each other and submit to the court the Form E.

At least 14 days before the the First Appointment, each party must serve on each other and file to the court :

a) Issues Statement: Outlining the issues between the parties.

b) Chronology

c) Questionnaire setting out any further information or disclosures/ documents required from the other side.

d) Form G stating whether that party will be in a position at the first appointment to proceed to a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) appointment.

Where pensions are being considered, a statement summerising the way in which the valuation is calculated, this being the cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) and the pension benefits which are included in a valuation. Any valuation must be within 12 months of the first appointment date and onc received it must be disclosed to the other party within 7 days.

 
 
STEP 6: Preparing for the Final Dispute Resolution Appointment

Following the first hearing, the judge will produce an order instruction both parties, exactly what they have to do next in terms of completing disclosures and preparing for the second hearing where the judge provides support for both parties to negotiate a settlement.

In preparation for the second hearing, both parties will submit to the court details of 'open' offers, proposals and responses to them.

Imediately prior to the Financial Dispute Resolution appointment each party must submit to the court an estimate of the costs incurred so far. A Form H is to be used.

 
STEP 7: The Final Dispute Resolution Appointment

The purpose of the FDR is to hold judge led negotiations to try, through mediated negotiations, to achieve a settlemnt between both parties. The judge is in a position to listen to proposals and to give an indication of likely outcomes at a Final Hearing. However, a judge cannot make any rulings other than making a consent order if both parties agree.

If no agreement can be reached, then the judge will provide dorections and fix a date for the Final Hearing.

 
 
STEP 8: Preparing for the Final Hearing

Read carefully and follow the instructions of the court from the DRA.

No less than 14 days before the Final Hearingm the applicant must send to the court and the respondent an 'open statement' and 'narrative' which sets out concise details, including the amounts involved, and orders which the applicant porposes to ask the court to consider.

Not more than 8 days after the applicant has served their statement, the other party must serve and submit to the court their statement also including the amounts involved, and orders which the applicant porposes to ask the court to consider.

As part of their statements, both parties should make referrence to theSection 25 factors as outlined in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Clauses Act.

 
STEP 9: Final Hearing

The Final Hearing is conducted by a different judge from that in the FDR.

The judge will make a decision based on evidence with reespect to the factors as set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The Final Hearing is held usually over 1 or 2 days and follows a set format