… the delightful FORM E or the statement of financial disclosure. I think the Form E gets a bit of a bad rap – unfairly in my view. The Form E definitely seems to be one of those ‘Marmite’ forms – either loved or hated. Confession: I like Marmite. I also like the Form E. Done properly, it captures all of the information needed in my view.
Having produced a significant number of these forms, I have honed my method to make it as easy as possible for my clients when one has to be produced and also, to make sure all of the information needed is in the Form E.
The aim of the Form E is to provide a financial snapshot of your situation, setting out the information. There are documents that go with the Form E. The aim of the documentation is to verify the information given in the Form E.
So, Form E and documentation is basically a statement of your financial situation supported by documentation to explain and verify what you are saying.
My hints for those who have to produce a Form E are:
• Use a solicitor who is not asking you to fill in the Form E. You’ll get confused and my view is that the solicitor’s role is to fill out this form for you using the information they collect from you.
• Organise your paperwork! Paper folders or an arch-lever folder with dividers are your friends for this task. If you can do it electronically, by saving the files on your computer, even better. Downloading bank account statements is very easy to do now.
• Keep your bank statements – obviously sorted for the right account. And this includes accounts you have closed within the last 12 months.
• Keep your P60s and payslips also.
• Try not to use cash for transactions but run them through your bank account or credit card. It avoids issues about what money was used for. Also, who carries cash nowadays, right?
• If you are not sure what you are being asked for, speak to your solicitor.
• Remember, you cannot just go opening letters addressed to your spouse or copying all their documents. If in doubt, speak to your solicitor
• Be realistic. There is no point in you producing a budget of the income you need that is more than your combined income when you were married and together. (You would be surprised how often I see this).
• On the other hand, don’t underestimate. (Tricky, isn’t it).
• Open, honest and transparent is the key to resolving matters swiftly.
I can offer a fixed fee for preparing your Form E if you need some help and you don’t have a solicitor to guide you.
Contact me for an estimate.