Today, the President of the Family Division, Mr Justice Mostyn, has released guidance for family lawyers dealing with the financial cases ancillary to divorce proceedings. This guidance is provided in order to assist regular Court users during this difficult time and to minimise the volume of people gathering at Court buildings.
One suggestion is for Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearings to be held in private at barristers’ chambers or solicitors’ offices.
The traditional FDR is the second Court appointment in Financial Remedy Proceedings ancillary to divorce.
The FDR is a compulsory Court appointment for the parties to seek advice from the Judge, as to what he or she believes a fair and appropriate settlement would be in the circumstances of the case.
The FDR hearing takes place once both parties have provided each other with full and frank financial disclosure, have had the opportunity to raise questions in respect of each other’s disclosure and any appropriate experts have completed their reports. For example, an actuary who was instructed to prepare a report in respect of pension sharing. In theory, by the time the FDR Hearing has been listed, both parties should know what the matrimonial pot consists of and what is available to be divided between them.