With the introduction of no-fault divorce, many couples are still unaware that when you have gone through the final steps of divorce, finances can still be claimed by your ex-partner until a Financial Order is made by the Court. A Consent Order is recommended for this reason, even if neither party is seeking an adjustment of assets.

A Consent Order (or Financial Consent Order) is a legally binding document which sets out financial arrangements in a divorce that you and your ex-partner have agreed to without the need for a court hearing. It can determine how and when assets are divided between you and your ex-partner, as well as a record of steps you have already taken to separate your finances. The document will protect each party, should the other party try to claim any additional finances or assets in the future. The Order can also detail any child maintenance, which will allow the court to enforce if maintenance is not paid.

A Financial Consent Order can include:

  • Income (such as spousal or child maintenance)
  • Pensions
  • Investments
  • Property
  • Debts

A Consent Order can only be obtained once couples reach the Decree Nisi stage of their divorce; however, it is recommended that you obtain a Consent Order before applying for a Decree Absolute. Decree Absolute ends your marriage even if finances have not yet been dealt with, which in some cases may result in a loss of legal rights in relation to pensions, occupation of the matrimonial home and even inheritance aspects.

The Court can decline your application regardless of whether you are both happy with the final decision. The Court will only grant the Consent Order if they believe the division of assets is fair for both parties. If your application has supplied sufficient information and is successful there should be no reason for you to attend court. Should your application be rejected, you may have to provide further information on how you both came to your agreed decision to ensure both parties are fully aware of what is being proposed.

For further advice, please contact our specialist team on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.

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