What you need to know about consent orders in divorce

A consent order is an order made by a judge in divorce proceedings, where both parties have agreed their financial settlement and agree to a financial order being made without the need for a court hearing.

A consent order agreement will explain to the court how you intend to split assets such as money, property, pensions and savings.

The order can also include details on spousal and/or child maintenance arrangements, which enables the family court to enforce these if the maintenance is not paid.

To separate your finances, you need to reach a financial settlement and turn that into a court order that is different from the divorce itself.

If you don’t obtain this court order following a divorce then the agreement you’ve reached isn’t legally binding and therefore the court cannot enforce it.

An order can be applied for at the decree nisi stage of divorce proceedings and becomes legally binding when the Decree Absolute has been granted.

Things to consider before applying for a consent order

If you are in the process of divorce and are now considering the terms of your financial settlement, there are 3 things to really consider before signing the order.

1. Don’t assume a 50/50 split is fair

In most instances, starting at 50/50 is right, but don’t assume that’s right for you without looking at the finer details of your marriage, such as earning potential and childcare responsibilities.

For example, short marriages are often not split 50/50.

It would be unfair to settle for a 50/50 split if there have been inherited assets or vastly different contributions made to held assets from one spouse.

2. Don’t assume the Judge will grant your order

Couples often assume that just because they’ve agreed to a financial settlement that the Judge will grant them their order.

However, this is a dangerous attitude to have as the Judge will only grant the order if he or she feels that the order is fair to both parties.

If they believe the order to be unfair to either party, you will likely be asked to provide more information on how you came to the settlement to ensure both parties understand the order being proposed.

3. Ensure you have full financial disclosure

This is one of the most important parts of agreeing to a fair financial settlement.

You can’t come to a fair deal with your money, property and assets if both parties don’t have a full understanding of their spouse’s full income, assets and pension values.

If you don’t believe there’s full disclosure on money, capital or pensions, we’d recommend that you get some low-cost legal advice.

Why should I obtain a consent order?

It is always sensible to draw a line in the sand when it comes to splitting your financial matters in a divorce.

If you are selling property, transferring property, making a pension sharing order or paying over money, then you are advised to obtain a consent order, to make sure the other party carries out what they have agreed.

Most of all, obtaining the order will stop either spouse attempting to claim for more money or assets at a later date, which gives both parties protection once the divorce is finalised.

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Legal Advice Consultation - £99 Service

Speak to our family law solicitors to receive professional legal advice to understand your legal position and where you stand in relation to a financial split.

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Financial Agreement Consultation Service - £199

Having a qualified family law solicitor review your financial agreement and provide a full consultation on it will ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement.

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Detailed Consent Order - £399

This service is ideal for couples that want to put their financial split into a legally binding financial order, to ensure no claims by either party can be made in the future.

This service can include any/all of the following;

  • Division of pensions
  • Property portfolios
  • Divison of business assets
  • Sale or transfer of property
  • Personal belongings
  • Lump sum payments
  • Child/spousal maintenance

Why you should choose this service...

  • You'll save over £1,000 compared to hiring high-street solicitors.

  • Everything is completed online, no time off work or court appearance necessary.

  • Drafted by qualified family law solicitors.

  • We handle everything for you, from start-to-finish including dealing with the courts.
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Managed Consent Order Service - £299

This service is ideal for couples that want to put their financial split into a legally binding financial order, to ensure no claims by either party can be made in the future.

This service can include any/all of the following;

  • The sale or transfer of a property
  • Personal belongings
  • Child/spousal maintenance
  • Lump sum payments
  • Debt provision

Why you should choose this service...

  • You'll save over £1,000 compared to hiring high-street solicitors to carry out the same service.

  • Everything is completed online, no time off work or court appearance necessary.

  • Drafted by qualified family law solicitors.

  • We handle everything for you, from start-to-finish including dealing with the courts.
Complete Our Secure Online Checkout To Get Started - £299

Read more information on this service.

View our Consent Order Service – £299

You’ll save over £1,000 when compared to hiring high-street solicitor without needing to visit our offices, take any time off work or arrange childcare as everything is completed online at your convenience.

Professionally drafted by our family law solicitors

Legally separate property, lump sums, personal belongings, debt and maintenance

A one-off payment of £299, to help you save over £1,000 on legal fees

Everything is completed online to make the process more stress-free and efficient

Why should I obtain a consent order?

It is always sensible to draw a line in the sand when it comes to splitting your financial matters in a divorce.

If you are selling property, transferring property, making a pension sharing order or paying over money, then you are advised to obtain a consent order, to make sure the other party carries out what they have agreed.

Most of all, obtaining the order will stop either spouse attempting to claim for more money or assets at a later date, which gives both parties protection once the divorce is finalised.

Only by obtaining a court order to separate your finances will you sever financial ties from your spouse, as getting a divorce does not do this alone.

What can be included in a consent order?

Anything in relation to your financial situation can be included in a consent order.

The court has powers to make orders for;

  • Maintenance (Child & Spousal)
  • Sale or transfer of property
  • The payment of lump sums of money
  • Division/split of pensions
  • Debt provision

Anything the court cannot specifically order can be dealt with by way of what is called an undertaking, which is a promise to the court to do something. If this undertaking is broken, the court can enforce it, using contempt of court rules.

How To Obtain a Consent Order With Divorce-Online

Our Consent Order Service makes obtaining a financial court order quick, stress-free and affordable.

When using high-street solicitors, you’ll need to visit their offices, attend meetings etc, see how it works with us.

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Find a suitable service

Use our free online tool to find out which of our financial order services is the best suited to your circumstances. It takes less than 2 minutes and can help save you the stress of finding the service you need.

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Complete your purchase

Once you’ve found the right service, you can then pay online using our secure checkout. If you would prefer to speak to an advisor before going ahead with us, then please call us on 01793 384 029, or use our free live chat service.

3

Login to your account

Login to your account and provide us with the agreement details so that we can pass them onto our solicitors for drafting. It usually takes 28 working days for your order to be drafted.

4

Paperwork is filed at court

Once the order has been drafted and both parties are happy with the agreement, we will process your financial order application through the courts for you. You’ll then receive confirmation from us once the order has been granted.

How long does it take to obtain a court order?

If the contents of your consent order are very straightforward the court normally takes 3-5 weeks to process the application.

However, this is dependent on which court you use to file the order with as courts in large areas such as London are likely to have a longer timescale.

If the agreement appears fair then the Judge should approve it, however, if there are issues the judge can write back requesting further information to help them make a decision.

If the Judge is still not satisfied they can call a hearing with both parties to attend, but this is quite rare in our 20+ years experience.

If you can come to an agreement with your spouse it will prevent longer time frames, more costs and less stress for all concerned.

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What to do if the judge rejects your consent order?

The first thing to do is not panic and make any rash decisions.

If a judge rejects your consent order, it’s likely because they aren’t convinced the agreement is fair and reasonable in your circumstances.

It would then be useful to provide the judge with a clear picture as to why the agreement may appear unfair on the face of it and why you have reached that conclusion.

Here’s an example of when this may be the case

One party may have been useless with money and run up huge debts, so is happy for the remaining spouse to keep the equity in the home or any assets to pay off the debt and for them to walk away debt-free from the marriage.

You can respond to the judge via letter detailing the rationale behind the agreement and the judge may in light of the information you have provided, agree to the order.

If not, the judge may request that both parties attend a hearing, again, don’t panic. It is a court hearing but neither party is in any trouble.

It’s actually more of a fact-finding mission for the Judge to see you both face to face to ensure that one of you has not been coerced into signing the order.

It could also be to run through the order with you both to make sure you both understand what you are signing up to.

In the hearing, the Judge will either approve the order or not.

If they don’t approve the order then you may need to revisit the agreement with your spouse to see if the agreement can be changed to satisfy the Judges concerns.

FAQs

Additional Reading

How We Work

Without a consent order, either party can apply to the court for a financial order at a later date. So, even if you have reached an agreement and divided your assets formally, your spouse can at any time apply to the court for more than you agreed.

Whether the court would give them any more money is another matter, but the fact they can apply would cause unnecessary stress and legal costs with having to defend your settlement.

No, you don’t need to physically attend a court to file a consent order; it is all done by post.

As part of our Managed Consent Order Service we’ll file the order for you and deal with any questions or queries that the court or judge have about your agreement.

Once the drafted paperwork and court fee has been registered at court, it will be sent to a judge to approve the order.

The current court fee for filing a consent order is £50.00. This will need to be attached to your draft agreement when sent to the court.

This fee is set by the government and will need to be paid before the order can be processed through court.

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Consent Order Service – £299 Fixed Fee

Over 40,000 couples have used this service to legally separate any assets and finances within a divorce, e.g. the family home, pensions, money and personal belongings. It’s the most affordable, straightforward and efficient way to deal with your finances.

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This services involves our solicitors drafting your consent order and then processing it through the courts until the order is granted by a Judge.

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