UK Divorce Law: What is a Consent Order?

UK Divorce Law: What is a Consent Order?

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, often involving important decisions about the division of financial assets and responsibilities for children. One legal tool that plays a significant role in this process is a Consent Order. A Consent Order is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of an agreement reached by divorcing parties. It helps solidify the division of assets and responsibilities, offering clarity and protection to both parties involved. In this article, we explore the Consent Order in the UK, the different types, effects, importance, requirements and the process of obtaining one.

Types Of Consent Order

There are primarily two types of Consent Order: children Consent Orders and financial Consent Orders.

Children Consent Orders address matters related to child arrangements, access, and child maintenance. They ensure that the best interests of the children are prioritised and that both parents are fully aware of their responsibilities.

On the other hand, financial Consent Orders pertain to the division of assets, property, debts and spousal maintenance. These orders help create a fair and equitable distribution of financial resources between the divorcing parties, enabling a smoother transition into their individual financial futures.

The Purpose Of A Consent Order

A key concept in divorce law is the “clean break.” A clean break refers to a divorce financial settlement that concludes all financial ties between the parties involved, allowing them to move forward independently without any ongoing financial obligations to each other. A Consent Order can facilitate a clean break by outlining the division of assets, ongoing financial commitments and other relevant financial matters.

Why Is A Consent Order Important?

A Consent Order provides legal clarity and certainty. It ensures that both parties are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities, minimising the potential for future disputes. By obtaining a Consent Order, both parties can move on with their lives knowing that the terms of the divorce have been legally formalised and no futher financial claims can be made in relation to the divorce.

Requirements For A Consent Order

For a Consent Order to be legally binding, certain requirements must be met. These include:

Full Financial Disclosure

Both parties must provide complete and accurate financial information, ensuring that the terms of the Consent Order are based on a clear understanding of their financial situations. This requires the completion of Form E.

Independent Legal Advice

It’s essential for both parties to seek independent legal advice from a divorce solicitor before finalising a Consent Order. This ensures that they fully comprehend the legal implications of the agreement.

Fairness

The terms of the Consent Order should be fair and reasonable. The court will review the agreement to ensure that neither party is being taken advantage of.

How Do The Courts Decide On What Makes A Consent Order Fair?

The court considers several factors when evaluating the fairness of a Consent Order, including the financial needs and resources of both parties, their earning capacities, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage and the welfare of any children involved. The court’s primary concern is to achieve a fair outcome for both parties.

When Is A Consent Order Required?

A Consent Order is not mandatory for divorce proceedings, but it is highly recommended, especially when financial matters are involved. If the parties can reach an agreement, obtaining a Consent Order helps prevent future disputes and provides legal protection. There is no time limit for former couples to apply for financial settlements after divorce, meaning that many individuals are at risk of their former spouse lodging a financial claim against them, even decades after the divorce. This was brought to light in the case of Wyatt v Vince [2015]. In this case the couple divorced whilst both were poor and claiming benefits. They never obtained a Consent Order and when he became a millionaire by creating a successful eco energy business, his former wife successfully made a financial claim 27 years after they divorced.

Process Of Obtaining Consent Orders

The process of obtaining a Consent Order involves several steps:

Negotiation

Both parties work together (often with the help of family law solicitors or mediators) to reach an agreement on financial and custody matters.

Drafting the Order

Once an agreement is reached, a family law solicitor will draft the Consent Order detailing the terms and conditions.

Approval By The Court

The drafted Consent Order is submitted to the court for approval. The court reviews the terms to ensure they are fair and legally sound.

Court Hearing

In some cases, a court hearing may be required if the judge has any questions or concerns about the terms of the Consent Order.

Issuance Of The Order

Once approved, the court issues the Consent Order, making it legally binding.

Separation Agreements

If the parties are not ready to divorce, they may wish to consider a Separation Agreement. This is a document that outlines how they will manage their affairs during the separation period. While not legally binding, a separation agreement can provide a basis for a future Consent Order.

No Agreement

If an agreement cannot be reached, it might be necessary to seek mediation or legal advice. Mediation can help parties communicate and find common ground. If mediation fails, seeking legal advice is crucial to understand your rights and options under the law.

Need A Consent Order? Talk to Tyrer Roxburgh

Navigating the complexities of divorce requires careful consideration of legal procedures and agreements. A Consent Order serves as a vital tool in ensuring that both parties are protected and their rights are upheld. By outlining the terms of the divorce, it brings clarity and finality to a challenging process, allowing individuals to move forward with their lives while maintaining their financial and parental responsibilities. Whether it’s a children consent order or a financial consent order, the goal remains the same: to create a fair and equitable resolution that benefits all parties involved.

Need Advice? It starts with a Fixed Fee Divorce Consultation

We start advice with a fixed fee 1 hour consultation for £150 (plus VAT). This time can be used to discuss any family law matter whether it be surrogacy or adoption, divorcechild arrangements, a financial settlement, cohabitee dispute or any other family related issue. During this initial consultation we will provide an overview of the relevant law and answer any questions that relate to your specific circumstances.

The fixed fee appointment is also a good opportunity to begin building a professional rapport with your lawyer. Family law matters are generally very personal and emotive and you need to know that your lawyer is someone who talks your language, someone who is on your side and is someone you can trust.

The consultation will be followed up with a detailed advice letter which will outline everything discussed during the call.

At Tyrer Roxburgh we have a team of family law solicitors who are on here to support you. We offer advice face to face at our offices at St Michael’s Terrace, London, N22 or, remote advice via telephone or video call. It doesn’t matter where you are located, we can help.

We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable so if you need advice from one of our friendly solicitors, please do get in touch by calling 0208 889 3319 or via one of the options below.

The first introductory call is free and enables you to outline your circumstances and for us to explain how we can help. Our team are friendly and approachable and are always happy to answer your questions.

If you have a question about our services, please use our online form to send us an email.

If you need to speak with someone you will always receive a friendly welcome if you telephone between the hours of 9am-5pm but if we are closed, you can  request a callback. We will call you back as near to your requested time as possible.

Common Questions And Answers About The Consent Order (UK Divorce Law)

Divorce proceedings often involve complex legal aspects, one of which is the Consent Order. To help you understand this crucial element of UK divorce law, we’ve compiled some common questions along with their answers:

What is a Consent Order in the context of UK divorce law?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that formalises the agreement reached between divorcing parties regarding financial matters and child arrangements. It outlines the division of assets, property, debts, spousal maintenance, and custody arrangements, among other aspects.

What types of Consent Orders are there?

There are primarily two types of Consent Orders:

  • Children Consent Orders: These address child custody, access, and maintenance matters, ensuring the best interests of the children are protected.
  • Financial Consent Orders: These pertain to the division of assets, property, debts, and financial responsibilities. They help establish a fair financial settlement between the parties.

What is the purpose of a Consent Order?

A Consent Order serves to provide legal clarity and certainty to both parties. It ensures that the terms of the divorce are documented and legally binding, reducing the likelihood of future disputes and allowing both parties to move forward independently.

What is a “clean break” in the context of a Consent Order?

A “clean break” refers to a financial settlement that severs all financial ties between the divorcing parties. This means that neither party has ongoing financial obligations to the other after the divorce. A Consent Order can facilitate a clean break by outlining the division of assets and ongoing financial commitments.

Why is obtaining a Consent Order important?

A Consent Order is essential as it legally formalises the agreements made between the parties. This provides protection and clarity, preventing potential conflicts in the future. It also ensures that both parties are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities.

What are the requirements for a Consent Order to be valid?

For a Consent Order to be legally binding, it should meet certain requirements, including:

– Full financial disclosure by both parties.

– Independent legal advice from a family law solicitor sought by both parties.

– Fairness in the terms of the agreement.

How does the court determine the fairness of a Consent Order?

The court considers various factors, such as the financial needs and resources of both parties, earning capacities, standard of living during the marriage, and the welfare of any children involved. The aim is to achieve an equitable outcome for both parties.

Is a Consent Order necessary for all divorces?

While a Consent Order is not mandatory for all divorces, it is highly recommended, especially when financial matters are involved. It provides legal protection and prevents future disputes.

What is the process of obtaining a Consent Order?

The process involves negotiation, drafting the order, court approval, and, if necessary, a court hearing. Once approved, the Consent Order is issued by the court, making it legally binding.

What if we can’t agree on the terms of a Consent Order?

If an agreement cannot be reached, mediation or seeking ladvice from a family law solicitor are options to consider. Mediation helps parties find common ground, and legal advice provides insight into individual rights and options.

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be overwhelming, but understanding the role of a Consent Order can provide clarity and guidance. It’s essential to seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected and your agreements are legally sound.

Related Posts

Grandparents Rights: Do Grandparents have a right to see Grandchildren?

Grandparents Rights: Do Grandparents have a right to see Grandchildren? For most grandparents, grandchildren are a blessing to be loved and cherished, for children, grandparents are an extremely important part of their life. Extended family that can help to build, [...]

2023-10-13T15:09:02+01:00
Go to Top