Securing your future: An essential guide to Consent Orders in divorce

Many wonder about the necessity of a Consent Order, especially when it comes to achieving a ‘clean break’ from financial ties to their former spouse. However, understanding the importance of having  a Consent Order is crucial for anyone going through a divorce or separation.

In this blog we explore and explain the significance of Consent Orders, why they are a critical step towards ensuring a fair and final settlement in your divorce, and how they can protect you from future financial claims. Whether you’re contemplating the division of pensions or seeking to understand the associated documentation, this guide will provide you with the essential insights needed to navigate the process with confidence.

The Consent Order sets out the agreement that has been reached between you and can include how you will split your assets, such as savings, property, money, debts, and pensions and is legally binding.

Technically, you do not need a consent order to finalise your divorce. However, if you do not have one, the financial claims against each other remain open. The order also helps gives you legal protection, as a court can enforce the agreement if either party does not comply with the terms set out within.

Why is a ‘clean break’ so important?

One of the key elements for most people when it comes to a Consent Order is ensuring there is sufficient provisions within the order to provide for a ‘clean break’, which means that once it has been finalised by the court, the claims on either party end.

The clean break can begin after certain actions have been taken (i.e., after a property has been transferred or certain payments have been made) or immediately, depending on the situation.

It is important to note that even when you may feel you have nothing to share, you still need to obtain a consent order to ensure both of you obtain the clean break, so neither of you have any ongoing financial obligation to the other.

Ultimately, achieving a clean break is one of the most important aspects of a divorce.

Pensions are often one of the most valuable assets within a marriage. The court will require you to obtain a financial consent order if you are to share any pension assets.

Alongside the Consent Order, there is a document known as the Statement of Information (Form D81). This document provides a snapshot of the financial position of both of you before and after the order has been implemented.

Within the D81, each party provides a summary of their savings, pension value, liabilities, income, to name just a few. This information assists the court with understanding the background to the relationship and your financial position to help the judge decide whether the agreement reached is fair.

The Consent Order and D81 are sent to the court for a judge to review. There is a court fee of £53.00.

A Consent Order typically takes between 4 to 6 weeks to be approved by the courts, depending on the court’s backlog.

This is not a rubber stamp exercise. A judge will review and approve your consent order to make it legally binding if they think it’s fair. If they do not think it’s fair, they can ask you to change it.

Yes, you can get divorced without a consent order as they are separate legal proceedings, but this is not advisable, due to the reasons set out above.

You do not have to have a solicitor, but individuals do find it easier to have a solicitor draw up the documentation to ensure that they are adequately protected.  

Yes, you could instead enter into a separation agreement which is a legal contract between you both that sets out your rights and obligations with respect of your property, assets, etc. If you were then to finalise your divorce later, the terms of the agreement can be incorporated into a consent order.

How can Moore Barlow help?

At Moore Barlow, we understand that navigating through the process of divorce and reaching a financial settlement can be complex and emotionally challenging. Our specialist family law team is dedicated to providing you with expert legal advice and support every step of the way. Whether you’re considering a Consent Order to finalise your divorce proceedings, need assistance with drafting the necessary documentation, or simply seeking guidance on achieving a clean break, we’re here to help.

Our approach is tailored to your unique situation, ensuring that your rights are protected and your future is secured. Contact us today to discover how we can assist you in making informed decisions that align with your best interests and those of your family.

Contact our family and divorce team today