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21 January 2013

Form E: Section 3, Financial Requirements

Mahie Abey, family solicitor


It takes you through Section 3, which covers your income and capital requirements, plus those of any children.  

Please be aware that this section of Form E is vital. If you are either making a claim for maintenance or defending one the way in which you complete section 3.11 could have a significant impact on your case.

So do spend time on it and don’t cut corners!


Section 3.1 – income needs (general)



1.      Income needs period - you’ll have to decide whether you want to enter your income needs as weekly, monthly or annually  - and then delete the other two here. I would recommend entering your income needs as annual or monthly figures. (This is because Judges and solicitors don’t normally deal in weekly figures - even though many people get paid weekly and budget weekly as a result.)

2.      ‘I anticipate my income needs are going to change because’  - personally I don’t like the way this question is phrased. I find it confusing. Your income needs are going to change from what they currently are in most cases as you are getting divorced.

Therefore when you complete section 3.1.1 (see below) I advise my clients to just put in their estimated future costs.

In completing this section I recommend putting in:

The income needs set out in 3.1.1 below are my estimated future costs based on my life post the resolution of this matter.


Section 3.1.1 – your income needs

You can either add each outgoing you can think of, or look at the schedule of outgoings we have developed for Intelligent Divorce here.

If there are things you spend money on that aren’t on the list do add them in.

I would suggest you go through the list carefully as a starting point and at the end of each section think if there is anything else in that section you spend money on.

As a rule when you do this the first time you are VERY likely to underestimate your expenditure. The vast majority of people do. Don’t finish this in one session, come back to it and think about it carefully. However you don’t have to be absolutely anal about the process as this is an estimate of your future income needs only. You don’t need to (unless you want to) go through your bank and credit card bills for a year to see what you spend on every item, although a bit of research is helpful, I think, especially on utility bills.



1.      Item – a short description, for example ‘Electricity’ or ‘Rent’.

2.      Current cost - as mentioned above I advise my clients to only complete the section for future costs here, so I’d suggest leaving this column blank.

3.      Estimated future cost - remember to enter all figures as either annual, monthly or weekly ones (whichever period you selected at question 3.1) and not to mix them up.

Also (basic stuff I know), but if you are inflating your weekly outgoings to monthly don’t just multiply by 4, but multiply by 52 and divide by 12.

4.      Sub-total of your income needs – the sum of all the figures entered in column 3.


Section 3.1.2 – income needs for children living with you or provided for by you

As in section 3.1.1 above, either add each child-related outgoing you can think of, or look at that section use the schedule of outgoings we have developed for Intelligent Divorce.

Again, if there are things you spend money on that aren’t on the list add them in - go through the list carefully as a starting point and think if there is anything else in that section you spend money on.



1.      Item – a short description, for example ‘School uniform’ or ‘Dentist’.

2.      Current cost – as with your own income needs, I advise my clients to only complete the section for future costs here, so I’d suggest leaving this column blank.

3.      Estimated future cost – again, remember to enter all figures as either annual, monthly or weekly ones (whichever period you selected at question 3.1) and not to mix them up.

And just to repeat again that if you are inflating your weekly outgoings to monthly don’t just multiply by 4, but multiply by 52 and divide by 12.

4.      Sub-total of the children’s income needs – the sum of all the figures entered in column 3.

5.      Total of all income needs – the total of your income needs and those of any children.


Section 3.2.1 – capital needs for yourself

The main things to include here are the costs of a house if relevant, and any furniture and white goods needed for it.

You could also include a car if one is needed.

The section is for big ticket items only.



1.      Item – a short description, for example ‘New car’ or ‘Washing machine’.

2.      Cost – obvious, as there’s no need to worry about time periods here.

3.      Sub-total of your capital needs – the sum of all the figures entered in column 2.


Section 3.2.2 – capital needs for children living with you or provided for by you

People often include school fees here if they view them as a capital expense rather than something paid for out of income (either is fine – obviously don’t enter them both here and in section 3.1.2).

Again this is for big ticket items only.


1.      Item – a short description, for example ‘School fees’ or ‘New bed’.

2.      Cost – again this is obvious, as there’s no need to worry about time periods here.

3.      Sub-total of your children’s capital needs – the sum of all the figures entered in column 2

4.      Total of all capital needs – the total of your capital needs and those of any children.


That’s income and capital needs dealt with. My next post covers the remaining parts of Form E: Sections 4, 5 and 6