Consent order timescale 2022 UK
In April 2020 the largest divorce centre in England & Wales, located in Bury St Edmunds, reported a timescale of up to 20 weeks for a consent order to go from initial application to being granted due to COVID related delays.
How long do consent orders take? The good news in 2022 is that while it is dependent on which court you use to file, as some take longer than others to process the documents, you can now expect a timescale of 6 to 10 weeks for courts to approve the order provided the contents of the consent order are fairly straightforward.
Furthermore, if you use a solicitor to submit your financial consent order via the HMCTS digitised consent order system – which from August 2020 was compulsory for solicitors, the process is likely to be quicker still.
Divorce-online are registered with MyHMCTS online services
Being registered with MyHMCTS online services makes things a lot smoother for everyone, partly because judges now have the flexibility to review consent orders from their secure online portal.
If more information or amended documents are required from you, we will tell you what is needed so that we can respond directly to the request on MyHMCTS.
Once you have obtained your financial order, the arrangements detailed in it are legally binding. Any divergence from the agreement can be enforced by the family courts.
If no consent order has been made either party can go to the court and make a financial claim against the other, even many years after they were divorced (unless they have remarried).
Essentially, a divorce is not seen as ‘complete’ unless a financial consent order has been granted.
Please note: The requirement to submit financial consent orders via the HMCTS digitised system only applies where the applicant is legally represented.
What should be included within a consent order?
Here is a list of the most common clauses and assets that couples include within a consent order:
- Clean break – preventing future claims
- The sale/transfer of any property
- Savings and/or Debt provisions
- The division of any personal belongings
- Child and/or Spousal maintenance
- Lump-sum payments
- Business assets or investments
When can consent orders be filed?
You can apply for a consent order at the conditional order (decree nisi) stage of divorce proceedings or, any time after the final order (decree absolute), providing neither party has since remarried.
It’s usually good practice that your consent order is prepared or planned for when the final order is granted. Therefore, to achieve this it is recommended that the 20-week reflection period built into the new no-fault divorce process should be used for this purpose.
That way, once the final order is granted by the court your consent order becomes legally binding at the same time.
You can file a consent order after your divorce is finalised (or civil partnership ended) but this may affect what you’re entitled to. In some cases, this could result in a loss of legal rights in relation to pensions, occupation of the matrimonial home or an inheritance.
You may also forfeit tax benefits, which would mean paying tax on assets you’ve received.
Read more about financial consent order lead times
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.
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you enforce a consent order?
In most cases, if there has been a breach, the consent order will be enforced by the court. The person who has breached the contract will be required to pay the money owed or carry out the task given to him or her (for example, making a lump-sum payment) within a certain period of time.
How much does a consent order cost UK?
The court fees for submitting a consent order are currently £53.
In addition, a solicitor will usually need to draft your consent order to ensure it becomes legally binding – if using a local high-street solicitor, the cost of this will vary depending on the content, number of re-drafts and whether it includes provision for pension sharing.
Solicitor fees can vary dramatically depending on their experience and location, and they usually charge by the hour!
Financial Consent Order Services From £399
The main difference between the two consent order services that we offer is the inclusion of pension sharing and the amount of responsibility that you wish to take on yourself – whether you would like our legal professionals to manage your financial application for you.