Do I need a consent order when I divorce?

Often when a couple go through an amicable divorce they question whether they need a consent order – a court order that confirms their agreement about how they are going to split their finances/assets. Getting a consent order is optional, so people often chose to divorce without one. Here we look at some of the common reasons people cite for not getting a consent order and we address each one in turn.

We don’t have anything to share

If you don’t have anything to share – this is the best time to get an agreement to confirm that you do not want anything from each other, now or in the future. There are no assets to argue over, so this will be a simple, inexpensive and stress-free process.

If you don’t get a consent order, your ex-partner can make a financial claim many years after the divorce is finalised. This means that any future assets and/or income that you build up are at risk.

We don’t want anything from each other

As above, if your partner agrees that they do not want anything from you now, this is the best time to get a legally binding consent drawn up so that they can’t change their mind and believe us, people do change their minds when you least expect it. In your situation, the consent order will be called a clean break consent order because you are not giving or taking anything such as spousal maintenance. This is a very simple application so there is no reason not to get it.

We are in a rush to get a divorce

Being in a rush to divorce should not be an excuse to leave yourself financially exposed.

A consent order can be prepared and submitted while you are waiting for your compulsory 6 week period to expire, in between the decree nisi and decree absolute, so there is no excuse.

We trust each other to do the right thing

It is fantastic that you trust each other and there is no reason why any of you should not. But your ex may be unable to keep their promise in the future, not because they are untrustworthy, but simply because their circumstances have changed. Don’t leave things to chance. Getting a consent order does not imply that your distrust each other, it just means you are protecting each other against any unforeseeable circumstances.

We have our own private agreement which we have already executed

It is commendable when divorcing couples can come to their arrangements about how they are going to split their finances. However, no matter how well executed, an agreement is not legally binding until it is set out in a consent order. You have been organised enough to come this far so just go one step further and tie up all loose ends.

A final warning

A divorce is never complete without a financial order. If you are both in agreement about your finances then the right financial order for you is a consent order. There is nothing is the law which says you must have one, however, your agreement (whether you have assets or not) won’t be legally binding, without it. So, if your partner goes back on their word in the future, for whatever reason, the court will not be able to enforce your private agreement and it may cost you a lot of money to rectify the situation.

For more information on consent order click here. You can also call our friendly team for a FREE chat on 0800 177 7702.

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