A Consent Order (or financial consent order) is a legally binding document which sets out financial arrangements in divorce that you and your ex-partner have agreed to.
A Consent Order can determine how and when assets are divided between you and your ex-partner, as well as a record of steps you have already taken to separate your finances.
Assets within a Consent Order can include:
A Consent Order will completely separate all financial responsibilities you have with each other after the divorce, save for any ongoing obligations such as spousal or child maintenance. The document will also protect each party, should the other party try to claim any additional finances or assets in the future.
Many couples are unaware that when you have gone through the final steps of divorce, finances can still be claimed by your ex-partner until a Financial Order is made by the Court. A Consent Order is recommended for this reason, even if neither party is seeking an adjustment of assets.
When making an application for a consent order, you will need to complete a Form A (the application form), a D81 Statement of Information (which provides the Court with a summary of your financial situation to give the Consent Order context) and, if your consent order includes an adjustment in respect of pensions, a Form P1 Pension Sharing Annex.
A Consent Order can only be obtained once couples reach the Decree Nisi stage of their divorce; however, it is recommended that you obtain a Consent Order before applying for a Decree Absolute. Decree Absolute ends your marriage even if finances have not yet been dealt with, which in some cases may result in a loss of legal rights in relation to pensions, occupation of the matrimonial home and even inheritance aspects.
12 weeks is the usual time it takes to get to Decree Nisi stage and this is to ensure there is plenty of time for the court to process the petition.
The Court can decline your application regardless of whether you are both happy with the final decision. The Court will only grant the Consent Order if they believe the division of assets is fair for both parties. The Court has a duty to consider the effect of the order and it is not a case of simply “rubber stamping” an agreement.
If your application has supplied sufficient information and is successful there should be no reason for you to attend court.
Should your application be rejected, you may have to provide further information on how you both came to your agreed decision to ensure both parties are fully aware of what is being proposed.
The Court can take 1-2 months to process a Consent Order application if the information provided is accurate and doesn’t require any revisions.
As legal professionals, the team at K J Smith Solicitors can advise and guide you through the Consent Order process to ensure all relevant documents are completed, all information meets the courts requirements and that the Consent Order will take effect as you intend.
Finding the right lawyer for you can be a difficult job, especially when you cannot meet them in person to talk through your concerns.
At K J Smith Solicitors, we believe that the current social distancing measures should not impact on your ability to access fast, free and personalised legal advice in your time of need. Whilst initial telephone consultations can be very useful, they can lack the personal touch especially when you are talking about sensitive matters concerning your children or family finances. Therefore why not arrange a free video consultation with us via Zoom, WhatsApp, MeetMe or Facetime?
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We offer a free initial 45 minute consultation to give you the opportunity to meet us and find out more about Consent Orders before deciding if you wish to proceed in instructing us to act on your behalf.
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If you would like to visit our team of family solicitors, we have offices in Henley-on-Thames, Woodley, Reading (Head Office), Reading (Central), Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Ascot & Newbury. We serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.