As a part of any divorce, it is important that the parties consider their matrimonial finances, even if the assets are modest or the parties have only been married for a short period. It is for this reason that we always recommend our clients obtain a consent order.
The order itself is a Court document, which is approved by the Family Judge, and sets out clearly the terms agreed between the parties in regards to their matrimonial assets. It will cover all aspects of the parties’ finances, including their property, pensions and income. Without a consent order either party could potentially face financial claims from the other well in to the future and it is therefore a very important document.
The consent order is lodged with the Court as a part of the divorce proceedings. As soon as the first stage of divorce has been granted, a consent order can be lodged. The Judge will then consider the terms of the consent order, and the parties’ respective financial positions, and decide whether the agreement is fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. It is therefore open to a Judge to question the terms of a consent order, if there appears to be good reason to do so. However, normally when the parties have obtained independent legal advice and the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable, a Judge will not interfere and the Court will simply make the order sought.
Even in contentious matters, it is still possible for solicitors to negotiate the terms of a financial agreement and prepare a consent order, without the need to attend Court. It will therefore save significant legal costs and it will ensure that you and your spouse are in control of the agreement you have reached. It will avoid the possibility of the Judge enforcing an outcome on you which you are not happy with.
A consent order is therefore a very important document as it ensures that the parties are bound by the terms of any agreement they reach in regards to the matrimonial finances, and it also ensures that there is a clean break after the order has been made so that both parties have security and certainty going forward.
If you would like advice in regards to obtaining a consent order, please do not hesitate to contact us. We offer an initial fixed fee appointment of £120 plus VAT. If you would like to contact one of our specialist lawyers in this regard, please read free to do so on 01702 662963 (Essex) 020 35537115 (London) or by using the contact form below.