As members of Resolution, an organisation committed to resolving family law matters in a calm, respectful, non-confrontational way, we are focused on assisting couples to work out a financial settlement between themselves. This avoids the stress and cost of going to Court and helps the parties reach a fair settlement which each fully endorses.
What is a Consent Order?
Once a financial settlement has been reached, a divorcing couple can apply to the Court for a Consent Order. A Consent Order will explain to the judge how you plan to split matrimonial property and assets. It can also contain details of child and spousal maintenance payments.
The advantage of having a Consent Order is that the agreements made between you and your spouse are legally binding and enforceable. In addition, a Consent Order prevents each party from trying to claim more money or assets at a later date.
Our family law team, led by Rakhi Singal, who has years of experience working on divorce matters involving complex financial arrangements, will ensure you have the support and advice needed to feel confident in negotiating with your spouse. We are a modern, smart, paperless law firm, focused on providing outstanding service and really listening to what success means for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Will the Court automatically grant a Consent Order?
The Court will only grant a Consent Order if it feels it is fair and equitable to both parties. For example, you may have negotiated a 50/50 split of all your property and assets. However, if the marriage was one of short duration, or one of you has a physical or mental impairment, the judge may reason that such a division of property is unfair.
To avoid such a situation occurring, it is imperative to sit down with Rakhi and her team and work out a financial settlement which takes into consideration the factors listed under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. These include the financial position of you and your spouse, contributions you have both made to the marriage (both financially and domestically), and future financial commitments. By ensuring the settlement you reach together takes these factors into account and following full financial disclosure from you and your spouse, your agreement has a greater chance of receiving a Consent Order. As was pointed out in the case of Harris v Manahan, the Court is not some kind of “forensic ferret”, so as long as you have quality legal representation and the agreement is fair, the Consent Order should be granted.
How long does it take to get a Consent Order?
In straightforward cases, a Consent Order can be granted in three to five weeks. If the judge has any questions, they will contact us for further information which we will swiftly provide. In rare situations, you may be called in to attend a court hearing. If this does happen, our family solicitors will robustly represent you.
What are the risks of not applying for a Consent Order?
If you do not have a Consent Order, either you or your ex-spouse could apply for a financial order from the Court at a later date. This results in both of you never being quite certain if your financial commitments to the other party may increase. This situation can lead to further legal costs and stress.
What if I believe we have an agreement and my spouse does not, or vice versa?
When establishing if there is an agreement reached, the Court held in Xydhias v Xydhias  1 FLR 683 that evidence such as heads of agreement signed by the parties or a clear exchange of solicitors’ letters may be used to clarify whether an agreement has been made.
In certain circumstances, even where you and your spouse have not reached final agreement on all points, there may still be sufficient agreement to bind both of you to a particular outcome, even if the negotiations have been conducted on a without prejudice basis.
It is always best to take time to consider and reflect before signing a Consent Order. Our Solicitors will ensure that the advice you receive is pragmatic and emotion-free, allowing you to see the full picture of what you may be committing to for many years to come.
By instructing us, you can be assured that your best interests will be protected and you will have a full understanding of any financial settlement agreement and its implications before you apply for a Consent Order.
Our team will provide you with the knowledge you need to acquire a Consent Order. To find out how we can advise and represent you, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment.