What is a consent order?

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What is a consent order?

A consent order is sought to explicitly explain your financial agreement as to how you would like to divide your matrimonial assets following your divorce or the dissolving of your civil partnership. It will allow you to make a clean financial break from your ex-partner. This could include money, property, income, pensions and even child maintenance. 

Importantly, even if you have discussed an informal financial arrangement with your ex-partner during the divorce proceedings, it will not be legally enforceable without creating a consent order.

The consent order will make your informal financial arrangement legally binding, which means both you and your ex-partner will need to abide by it. Importantly, it will also be irrevocable, so you will both be unable to change your mind in the future. 

Applying for this order will give you peace of mind and further assurance in knowing that your ex-partner cannot make a claim to any of your finances in the future should they later wish to or your financial situation changes.

Finalising the divorce itself will only end the marriage, it will not formalise any financial arrangement that both you and your ex-partner may have come to. Obtaining a formal order from the court, however, (known as a consent order) after Decree Nisi (known as a conditional order under the new law) will ensure that there is a clear separation of finances between you and your ex-partner. 

Getting a consent order following your divorce is not mandatory but it is recommended, to ensure a clean financial break from your ex-partner and to prevent them making any future claims on your finances. 

To obtain a consent order, you will need to have come to a financial agreement with your spouse – this needs to be written and presented in a clear manner.

You are not required to have this drafted by a solicitor, but it is recommended to ensure that the agreement covers exactly how you both would like the finances to be split and help prevent any misrepresentation of agreed terms between you and your ex-partner. This will also help avoid any unnecessary delay. 

If the court feels the terms that you have agreed are not reasonable, it may request to have further clarification from both you and your ex-partner. If they are still not satisfied, they may decline to make the order, but this is unlikely if the agreement is drafted correctly, and all the supporting documents are clear.

At Ansham White, we can advise you on agreeing finances following your divorce and in drafting a consent order for you. 

To obtain a consent order, you will need to have come to a financial agreement with your spouse – this needs to be written and presented in a clear manner.

You are not required to have this drafted by a solicitor, but it is recommended to ensure that the agreement covers exactly how you both would like the finances to be split and help prevent any misrepresentation of agreed terms between you and your ex-partner. This will also help avoid any unnecessary delay. 

If the court feels the terms that you have agreed are not reasonable, it may request to have further clarification from both you and your ex-partner. If they are still not satisfied, they may decline to make the order, but this is unlikely if the agreement is drafted correctly, and all the supporting documents are clear.

At Ansham White, we can advise you on agreeing finances following your divorce and in drafting a consent order for you. 

To obtain a consent order, you will need to have come to a financial agreement with your spouse – this needs to be written and presented in a clear manner.

You are not required to have this drafted by a solicitor, but it is recommended to ensure that the agreement covers exactly how you both would like the finances to be split and help prevent any misrepresentation of agreed terms between you and your ex-partner. This will also help avoid any unnecessary delay. 

If the court feels the terms that you have agreed are not reasonable, it may request to have further clarification from both you and your ex-partner. If they are still not satisfied, they may decline to make the order, but this is unlikely if the agreement is drafted correctly, and all the supporting documents are clear.

At Ansham White, we can advise you on agreeing finances following your divorce and in drafting a consent order for you. 

Even if you feel you do not have any financial assets that are worth protecting at the moment, obtaining a consent order will protect you from claims from your ex-partner for any future financial assets you may end up owning. this could be many years into the future.

If you or your ex-partner breach the terms of your consent order by not carrying out the obligations, then the court can enforce the consent order.
The court would require, unless there is a valid reason, that the obligations are to be carried out immediately.

If your ex-partner has breached the consent order, you could get into contact with them as a first step to find out why the obligations have not been fulfilled.  If that does not prove successful or viable, you can report the breach directly to the court using a D11 form. You may wish to have the assistance of a solicitor in completing this form before sending it to the court; this would start court proceedings if the case was seen in court. If you require more information about this process, at Ansham White, our solicitors can assist you with this.
If the case is seen by the court, if you have initiated the process, you would be liable to pay the court fees. If the court finds a breach, the partner who has breached the consent order would be liable to pay the money that is owed or carry out the task that they would have needed to do to abide by the consent order; this would need to be completed within a set time limit.
There are some instances where the court will not ask an ex-partner who has breached their consent order to meet their obligations. For example, if your ex-partner was required to pay child maintenance but has recently been made redundant, the court may make a note on your consent order stating that they would only need to pay child maintenance when they found new employment. Importantly, the court deciding whether a consent order should be enforced is entirely dependent on the circumstances. If you require advice on this, at Ansham White, our solicitors can assist you with this.

There are some limited circumstances where a consent order can be appealed: 

  • Where one partner or both have neglected to disclose all relevant material related to creating the consent order.
  • This is where not all information about a partner or both partners’ finances were not disclosed to the other when creating the consent order.
  • This is in relation to substantial information, not small miscalculations.

Fraud or misrepresentation.

  • Where a partner or both partners’ have intentionally tried to misrepresent information about their finances.
  • If there was undue influence during the creation of the consent order.
  • A consent order is a mutually agreed agreement. If a partner has been made to agree through means such as being threatened or drugged, undue influence may have been present when creating the consent order.

Supervening events.

  • This is where the circumstances of a partner or partners’ have changed since the consent order has been approved that make some terms unsuitable.

If you require further information on this, please contact Ansham White where our solicitors will be able to assist you with this.

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