One of the irritating things about getting divorced in England and Wales is that the divorce itself does not deal with the finances. For that you need a Consent Order.
A Consent Order:
- Is the only legally binding route to deal with the division of finances on divorce.
- Gives finality. It is difficult to overturn.
- Is the only way to have a pension share.
- Confirms what happens to all assets and debts in sole or joint names.
- Deals with income claims – is there maintenance to be paid? Do you want the opportunity to make a claim in the future? Do you want the removal of a claim – known as a clean break.
- Prevents your ex coming back for money in the future. A lottery winner last year who divorced decades earlier was ordered to make a lump sum payment to his ex-wife.
- Needs legal knowledge to ensure it is correct. I was called last week by a lady who had her own draft rejected 3 times by a judge and was ordered to get legal assistance to draft it. She said it was simple so she did not want to pay much. This lack of understanding will no doubt result in more rejections by a judge or a badly written Consent Order that does not cover all eventualities.
- Is worth paying for if you have any assets now, expect any in the future and earn a living or expect to earn a living in the future.
Getting to the stage of agreeing what goes in a Consent Order is the hard part… Once you have an agreement make sure it is legally binding!