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Do You Need a Financial Consent Order After a Divorce?

Although a divorce can be concluded without a consent order, it is strongly recommended that all divorcing couples obtain one before going their separate ways.

In this article, we explore the importance of consent orders following a divorce and explain why they are necessary for couples without children or joint assets.

We have an example case that highlights the need for a clean break consent order and how an ex-spouse can come back to haunt you without one.

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    What is a Financial Consent Order in Divorce Proceedings?

    A financial consent order is a type of court order that is used to provide legal standing to financial settlements upon divorce.

    It consists of a written document setting out the agreement regarding the division of finances, and any ongoing financial commitments which have been agreed upon between the divorcing parties, such as;

    • Any division of savings
    • Any division or agreement on debts
    • Any division of personal belongings
    • Any children/spousal maintenance agreement

    In order to be legally binding, a consent order must be submitted to and approved by the court.

    The two main purposes of financial orders are:

    • It legally ends all financial ties between a divorcing couple, closing the door to future financial claims by either party.
    • It provides a way of ensuring that any agreement reached is carried out, for example, pension sharing, lump-sum payment, or maintenance agreements.

    The divorcing parties can apply for a consent order at any point after the decree nisi has been granted, but it will not take effect until the decree absolute has been issued.

    Although a consent order can also be obtained after the decree absolute, this is generally not advisable.

    What are the reasons you may need a financial consent order?

    As we have discussed, it is generally a good idea to get a consent order, no matter what the financial circumstances at the time of divorce.

    However, there are some specific reasons for getting a financial consent order, including:

    • Buying a full share of the marital home if they have a joint mortgage, one divorcing party may offer to purchase their former spouse’s share of equity and take on the full mortgage. Putting a consent order in place ensures that they do not renege on this agreement.
    • Selling the family home divorcing couples often decide to put their shared marital property on the market and divide any profit from the sale. This may involve a lump sum payment for either or both parties, related to their relevant equity share. A consent order prevents anyone from pulling out of the sale.
    • Pensions a consent order helps to cement any pension sharing arrangements. This can be particularly useful in a deferred pension sharing agreement, where the ex-partner does not receive a portion of the pension payment until a later date.
    • Maintenance a consent order ensures that any child or spousal maintenance agreement is upheld for the duration of the agreed period.
    • Debts – sometimes debts will be apportioned as part of the financial settlement. A consent order will help make sure these are paid off by the relevant party.

    Solicitor Drafted Financial Consent Order – £399

    If you have reached an agreement on your finances and you’re ready to have a consent order drafted for you by qualified solicitors then view our online service. It can help you save over £1000 compared to local solicitors.

    My spouse and I have agreed to go our separate ways and have no children or joint assets – do we need a financial consent order?

    Spouses with no children or joint assets sometimes decide to get divorced without obtaining a consent order.

    And for those unfamiliar with UK divorce law, this may seem quite logical… A couple gets divorced and has no children or assets such as a family home to separate, so what’s the need for a financial order?

    Even though there may be no need for a full financial settlement to be made, if there are minimal assets and no childcare responsibilities, obtaining a clean break consent order is still important.

    This is because when it comes to money claims on divorce there is no time limit. Therefore, if the financial situation of either party changes significantly, the other party is entitled to claim against it.

    The decree absolute ends your marriage and enables you to re-marry, however, it does not end your financial commitments to one another.

    Need advice about consent orders?

    Sorting out your finances during a divorce can be complex and stressful. If you have any questions we are here to provide quick and reliable answers.

    Click Here To Chat To Us

    Could my ex-spouse come back to haunt me in the future?

    There is always the possibility of an ex-spouse making a financial claim against you in the future if you don’t draw a legal line in the sand and have a financial order approved by the court.

    Obtaining a financial order isn’t as complex, expensive, or scary as it may sound.

    This can simply be a court order providing for the formal dismissal of financial claims. In the majority of cases, you don’t need to attend a court hearing, and using our online service, the process can be handled for you for just £399.

    Money claims can be made by either party at any point until a financial court order is made.

    Let’s look closer at the Supreme Court case of Wyatt v Vince to shine a light on the importance of sorting out your finances following a divorce.

    Case Study: Implications of not sorting out your finances

    When they got divorced, both parties in this case were impoverished new-age travelers living on state benefits. The former husband went on to found green energy supplier Ecotricity which led to him accumulating an estimated wealth in excess of £100 million. His ex-wife pursued a financial claim almost 20 years after their divorce, and the delay in her claim was supported by the Supreme Court.

    What is a clean break and how is it different from a consent order?

    When a divorce has concluded, it is possible for either ex-spouse to make financial claims on their former partner.

    According to the case of Wyatt v Vince there is no time limit in this regard, however, obtaining a clean break can prevent potential future claims.

    A consent order which includes a clean break clause can prevent future financial claims from being made by an ex-husband or wife.

    This type of consent order is sometimes called a clean break consent order.

    How do I make a consent order and can I do it myself?

    A consent order will usually be drafted by a solicitor, in accordance with the financial settlement.

    This is then submitted to the court which will then decide whether it is fair and either approve or deny it.

    A cheaper way to obtain a consent order than going to a high street law firm, is to use an online DIY service – such as that provided by Divorce Online, from just £299. Click here for more information.

    Solicitor Drafted Financial Consent Order – £399

    If you have reached an agreement on your finances and you’re ready to have a consent order drafted for you by qualified solicitors then view our online service. It can help you save over £1000 compared to local solicitors.

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