How COVID-19 affects Consent Orders

COVID-19 affects consent orders

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everybody in the country, some more than others. How will the COVID-19 affect Consent Orders? The pandemic has had financial implications to most people. Businesses large and small are under threat. The stock market is tumbling, house sales on hold and people are losing their jobs.

Currently going through divorce?

If your finances have been negatively affected by the impact of COVID-19. It is important that up to date financial information is exchanged. This is to ensure that both parties have a full understanding of current values of the marrital assets and financial resources. It is also essential to calculate what your respective financial needs are.

You may need to reassess your mortgage capacity to determine whether you can still afford to take on the mortgage for the family home in your sole name. You may have had a sudden loss of income, especially if you are self employed. The value of any capital assets like shares or pensions that you were using as negotiating assets may have reduced in value. It may be that you would be better off to defer the division of your assets. But that said, if all assets have reduced in value, the division is a percentage of those assets, which will not change. It is when different assets reduce at different rates, it becomes an issue.

To ensure that you are as financially secure as possible, it is important all options are considered.

Already have a Consent Order?

The Family Court has power to “vary, suspend, rescind or revive” any Consent Order. An application can be made to the Court on the grounds of there being a “subsequent event, unforeseen and unforeseeable at the time the Order was made, which invalidates the basis on which the Order was made”. Although judges have their personal view of this, but these unprecedented times are a very strong case for unforeseen circumstances.

It is strongly recommended to make applications to the Court promptly, and to get expert advice. Divorce Negotiator now offer telephone interviews or video interviews via platforms such as FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.

Many orders recently approved by the Court, may contain time limits by which property should be sold or transferred. Shares may need to be sold, or a lump sum to be paid. If those actions are still to be completed, the Court is able to make a new Order “if the circumstances upon which the Order was made has fundamentally altered”.

In the cases, where your income has dramatically reduced. It may be necessary to apply to vary the amount of the payment that you make. Or possibly discharge it completely, due to your changed financial circumstances.

Avoid the need for court through careful negotiation. Compromise is a better alternative to court appearance. Divorce Negotiator are experts in advising clients on how to avoid court appearance.

Call Divorce Negotiator on 0800 177 7702 for advice on Consent Orders in this difficult time.

How COVID-19 affects Consent Orders was last modified: March 31st, 2020 by John Fuller

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