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Guide to Financial Consent Orders In Divorce

When couples are thinking about getting divorced, they often fail to realise that splitting finances are dealt with separately from the divorce process.

If you fail to have your financial agreement drafted into a consent order the court has no power to enforce any part of the agreement if one party fails to comply in the future.

In the eyes of the law, a divorce is not ‘complete’ until a financial order has been approved by the court.

On this page, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining a financial order to sever all of your financial ties with your ex-partner after divorce.

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    How Divorce-Online Can Help You

    Over 150,000 couples have used our services to obtain a financial order since 1999. Our financial orders are drafted by qualified family law solicitors for an affordable fixed fee.

    We provide a range of family law services to help couples obtain professional services without needlessly spending thousands.

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    Ideal for couples that want to obtain a financial order without spending thousands in legal fees.
    • Solicitor drafted clean break consent order
    • Typically save over £750 in legal fees
    • Guidance on how to submit your consent order
    • Typically drafted within 28 working days

    Tips on obtaining a financial order after a divorce

    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, retirement income and ongoing 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 the matrimonial pot from one spouse. Pension assets should be looked at carefully, do not always take cash now and sacrifice income in your old age.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. Don’t assume you’ll stay amicable after the divorce

    The most common mistake we see couples make is assuming that amicable relations will continue in the years to come so they don’t believe a financial order is necessary.

    “Me and my ex are amicable, so I don’t see that being a problem”… This phrase is often said by those seeking a divorce, but having this attitude can sometimes come back to bite you.

    Oftentimes, new partners can be a driving force for either a) claiming more money or b) having their partner reduce children/spousal maintenance payments.

    In either case, it stresses the need for you to obtain a financial order to deal with your money and assets at the same time as the divorce.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens after a consent order is sealed?

    Once the consent order is sealed by a Judge it will be sent by post to each party. Each party, or their family lawyer, is then responsible for carrying out the terms of the order.

    This could involve selling the family home or it could involve more complex divisions, such as splitting money from pensions. The financial order is legally binding, so parties are responsible for ensuring the agreement is complied with.

    How long does a consent order take?

    In normal circumstances, it takes approximately 6 to 10 weeks for the court to approve a financial court order. However, timescales for financial applications can depend on the court you file with and whether you do it online or via post.

    How long is a consent order valid for?

    A consent order is indefinitely legally binding. However, some parts may expire as events take place, such as a family home being sold or a pension maturing.

    Can a Judge change a consent order?

    A judge has the right to amend any financial order if they deem it to be unfair in any way. Consent orders are usually considered a ‘clean break’ between a divorcing couple, meaning that neither party will be able to make a future financial claim against the other.

    Once your financial order has been granted by a Judge it can only be overturned or changed if there has been suspected fraud, like hiding assets or what is known as a “Barder” event.

    The Barder principle comes from the 1987 case of Barder v Barder and allows a court to exercise its discretion to grant leave to appeal out of time if certain conditions are satisfied.

    What happens if my ex-partner doesn’t comply?

    The court will not be directly involved in carrying out the order unless there is a failure to comply with it. At this point, an application to enforce the order would have to be made to the court.

    What Happens If My Ex-Partner Doesn’t Comply?

    What happens if Judge does not agree with our consent order?

    When obtaining a consent order, there is usually no court hearing as the judge will simply approve your order to make it legally binding.

    However, if the judge does not think the consent order is fair, they can ask questions regarding your financial agreement, either in writing or at a hearing, to clarify certain issues.

    Solicitor Drafted Consent Order Agreement – £399

    This fixed fee service provides you with a solicitor drafted financial agreement that ends your financial ties. This ensures that your consent order is granted by the courts and therefore becomes legally binding without costing you thousands of pounds.

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