Consent orders are voluntary agreements between separating ex-partners outlining their legal rights to their combined assets.
Consent orders are legally binding documents drafted by your solicitor and approved by the courts.
The consent order will detail exactly how you will split up your assets after a divorce, such as money, investments and property.
Reaching an Agreement
Before your consent order is drafted you need to have agreed with your ex-partner on how you will divide your assets and belongings.
You can reach such an agreement together or with the help of a mediator or through solicitor negotiations.
Why Should I get a Consent Order with my Ex-Partner?
After your divorce or separation, you will want to make sure that the agreements you have made with your ex-partner are final.
If no legally binding documents have been set up finalising your financial arrangements your ex may be able to take you to court claiming their share in assets that you were in possession of during the marriage or acquired after the divorce was finalised.
This may seem unlikely, however, there have been many cases within the UK where ex-partners were still able to claim significant amounts of money years after their divorce where there was no consent order in place.
Assets Acquired after Divorce
Even when the assets they were claiming ownership of were acquired by their ex after the divorce, a disgruntled ex-spouse can still successfully claim part of those assets.
By making your financial agreements final you will be able to avoid any future claims on your assets as your consent order will be legally binding.
Can Consent Orders be Overturned?
Generally, consent orders won’t be overturned by the courts after they have been agreed and approved.
Consent orders are considered final. The finality of such orders benefits both parties and protect ex-partners from further litigation.
Avoid going to court
You can usually avoid having to go to court yourself if you opt for a consent order detailing the financial agreements you have reached with your ex.
The consent order is agreed upon between the two parties outside of court before being drafted by the solicitor.
Usually, there is no need to go to court if an agreement has been reached and a consent order can finalise the arrangements.
The court will approve the consent order if both parties have signed and the consent order and it is fair and both parties have had independent legal advice.
To lodge the consent order you need to pay a one-off fee of £50.
Before signing your consent order
Before you make any decisions and finalise any financial agreements you should make sure you know exactly what assets you and your ex hold. If you do not have a clear picture on earnings, savings or other assets you may not be able to reach a fair agreement.
Furthermore, as a consent order can affect your live for years to come you should always try to make your decisions on factual basis only. Divorcing can be terribly upsetting, so sometimes you may unknowingly allow your emotions to cloud your judgement and make decisions that aren’t in your best interest in the long run.
If you are unsure
If you have any uncertainty about your consent order and the terms agreed you can speak to your solicitor or take a bit of time making your final decision.
Consent orders are final, and arguably the most important document detailing your financial future after a divorce. You should feel confident knowing you made the right decision.
Consent orders and child maintenance
You can either agree and settle any issues regarding your child maintenance arrangements at the same time as your consent order or on a separate occasion.
Even if you were not legally married or in a civil partnership, you will still both be responsible for your children. This means that child maintenance must be arranged even if you are separating as an unmarried couple.
If you can’t come to an agreement with your ex
If you and your ex cannot agree on the division of your assets and even mediation has proven to be unsuccessful in your case, you can ask the court to decide for you.
Getting a consent order would not be an option in this situation, as both parties would have to agree to the division of assets.
Going to court is generally not in your best interest, as litigation processes can become lengthy, costly and frustrating.
Furthermore, if you ask a court to decide you give away your control over the negotiations, and a decision made by the court may not be in your best interest.
When you can draft your consent order
You can have a consent order drafted after you have started the paperwork to end your marriage or civil partnership and before you have applied for the final legal documentation ending the relationship.
In divorcee this final document is known as the ‘decree absolute’ and in a civil partnership this is known as a ‘final order’.
How AWH Solicitors Can Help You Draft your Consent Order
Having a legally recognised consent order in place will give you and your ex peace of mind.
Without the continued threat of ongoing court battles both of you will be given the possibility to move on with your lives without any further stress and worries about the divorce.
For more information on how to get your consent order drafted or to discuss possibilities for mediation or court proceedings contact us today.
You can call us on 0844 414 0667 or request a call back for a time that is best suited to your schedule.
Family Law Services
A consent order can help you to ensure your finances and assets are fully taken care of, but you may have other issues that you need to address in addition to signing your consent order.
Our family law solicitors can help with a wide range of legal matters, including divorce, legal matters regarding your children, cohabitation agreements and family mediation.
We know each family is different, and in many cases a separation can get messy quite easily. We will help you keep matters under control and work with you to find a solution that in the best interest for you, and your children.
Our services regarding consent orders will be priced with your specific situation in mind. However, in general, consent order fees are as follows:
|General costs from:||£750|
Please be aware that cost may differ depending on your personal circumstances.
If you and your ex have opted for a 'quickie', online or 'do-it-yourself' divorce all you will likely get is the decree absolute. You may also opt for this dressed down divorce service with certain solicitors.
This type of divorce service does not include any type of negotiation, mediation, consent order or other financial agreements.
Financial agreements should be made and documented separately to ensure all financial matters are fully taken care of.
If these agreements are not made official, ex-spouses may still be able to make a claim on the others' assets in the future, even if those assets were acquired after the divorce was completed.
Avoiding Court in the Future
This is not a situation anyone would want to find themselves in.
As no one can predict what will happen in the future, it is in everyone's best interest to handle all divorce related matters at the time of the divorce, instead of risking the unpleasantries of dragged out court battles years after the divorce was finalised and a decree absolute was issued.
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