A Consent Order lays out the financial arrangements between a divorcing couple, usually after the Decree Nisi has been issued, and makes them legally binding. Divorcing couples are encouraged to try to amicably come to an agreement between themselves or through mediation. Sometimes, however, it may be necessary for the courts to intervene. Regardless of how you come to an agreement, a judge has the right to amend any order if they deem it to be unfair in any way.
Consent Orders are usually considered a ‘clean break’ between a divorcing couple, meaning that neither person will be able to make a future financial claim against the other. However sometimes circumstances change, and it may be necessary to alter this agreement. It’s important to know when you can make a change to a Consent Order and how to go about it.
What does a Consent Order include?
When drafting a Consent Order, each party will have to fully disclose all their financial assets and circumstances in a ‘Statement of Information’. Your financial assets will include things such as:
- Property (both jointly and solely owned)
- Savings, investments and pensions (including business assets)
- Personal possessions – e.g. furniture
- Spousal maintenance
- Child maintenance
- Any other expenses e.g. private healthcare
You can include arrangements for child maintenance in the Consent Order or you can come to an agreement about this separately at a later date.
It is important that you and your spouse are completely honest about the financial assets that you hold, as failure to fully disclose your finances could render the Consent Order void and trigger the court to enforce the agreement.
A solicitor can help you calculate the value of your assets accurately and ensure that the Consent Order is drafted correctly. A solicitor can also act as a mediator to ensure you and your ex can come to an agreement without any disputes.