At Bastows, we can assist with the drafting of Consent Orders and will ask you to provide all the necessary financial information before drafting a Statement of Information for you and your partner to sign. We will then supply you with an original copy before filing the document with the Court.
What is a Consent Order?
A Consent Order is needed to finalise financial matters on divorce and needs to be drafted by a solicitor. It is a complex legal document. If you do not have a Consent Order sealed by the court your ex-spouse’s financial claims against you remain open and your ex-spouse can make a claim against you many years after the divorce. Assets you acquire after divorce can be included in any potential claim by your ex-spouse.
What’s included in a Consent Order?
A Consent Order includes all aspects of your finances including assets such as property, cars and household items like furniture and the details on how they are to be distributed between each party and whether they are to be sold, transferred or kept. In regards to property, the details of what will happen to any homes will be included such as who will move out? who will be paying towards the household if one party moves out?
It will also contain details of any debts in joint or sole names and who is responsible for those debts, including those that have been amassed before cohabitation or marriage and how joint or sole savings will be distributed between each party.
Divorce Consent Orders also typically include information regarding:
- Joint bank accounts – will they be closed? Transferred?
- Life insurance in joint names or on each other.
- Pensions – will there be a pension sharing order and nominated beneficiary under pensions.
- If you have children who they will live with and where and how you will each support them.
- Mutual wills.
- Will either of you pay income to support the other? For how long?
- What happens if the one receiving maintenance cohabits?
- Inheritance and gifts from others – to be shared or kept apart?
- Inheritance to be excluded?
- Any legal costs to be paid?
The Consent Order will focus on financial matters and will not include details of domestic life.
Are Consent Orders Legally Enforceable?
Yes, provided there has been full financial disclosure i.e. you have not hidden any details about your financial circumstances so that you have both entered into the Divorce Consent Order with a full knowledge of what you are agreeing to and there is no fraud or mistake. The Consent Order needs to be properly drafted as a legal contract. The Consent Order is considered by a District Judge together with a summary of the assets and liabilities and income of the divorcing couple. A Judge will assess whether a Divorce Consent Order is fair before he seals it.
At Bastows, we can carry out the drafting of the Consent Order and advise you on the information you should include in the document. All work undertaken is carried out by a highly qualified and experienced solicitor and we can advise you on the best course of action to take.
For more information or to discuss your circumstances, please contact us on 02380 236025 and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.