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Consent Orders

What is a Consent Order?

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:

  • Income (such as spousal or child maintenance)
  • Pensions
  • Investments
  • Property
  • Debts

Why would you need a Consent Order?

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.

Before applying for a Consent Order

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.

Your Consent Order can be rejected

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.

How long do Consent Orders take?

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.

How can K J Smith Solicitors help you?

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.

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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?

Not only will you have the benefit of meeting your lawyer face to face from the comfort of your home or office but both you and your lawyer will be able to “screen share” documents facilitating better advice in relation to key issues.

Our flexible video conferencing service is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6pm, until 9pm on Thursdays and between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays. We look forward to seeing you (virtually) very soon.

Free, no obligation consultation

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.

Please contact our divorce lawyers today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading Head Office), 0118 418 1200 (Reading Central), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01344 513000 (Ascot), 01635 785 100 (Newbury), 01962 587900 (Winchester), 0204 599 7400 (Richmond) or email info@kjsmith.co.uk.

We also serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, Pangbourne, and High Wycombe.

Our Office Locations

All our offices are easily accessible by road, rail or bus and we are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm. With today's busy schedules, we offer telephone appointments outside normal office hours until 9pm on Thursdays and between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays.

Not sure which office is closest to you? Try our Office Finder.

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 & Winchester. We serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.

Why not contact our team of divorce solicitors for a free initial consultation today? We offer a free initial consultation that can take place in any one of our offices or over the telephone.

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