Consent Order in Family Law Explained

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Consent Order in Family Law Explained

Applying for a consent order makes things official and legally binding when you go through your divorce. A consent order holds many benefits, one of which is avoiding any disputes, future negotiations, or conflicts.

If you wish to prevent your ex-partner from claiming a share of your current or future assets, estate, inheritance, or pension, speak to a family law solicitor who can assist you in creating a consent order. This ensures that you and your ex-spouse come to a mutual agreement now.

Learn more information in this article as we explain consent orders and why they are important for you today and in the future.


What Is a Consent Order in Family Law?

A consent order is a legally binding document that a court seals. It reflects the terms of an agreement reached by both parties during divorce proceedings.

The document confirms how a couple will divide their assets, stating what will be shared and preventing any potential disputes in the future. This is why obtaining a consent order is crucial.

Joint assets that need to be divided may include:

  • Money
  • Pensions
  • Savings
  • Property
  • Investments

The consent order may also include details on child maintenance payments or spousal support.

Your family law solicitor will draft a consent order for you. Generally, there are four sections in a consent order: definitions, recitals, undertakings, and orders. The sections can be brief or in-depth, depending on the complexity of the agreement and the assets to be divided.


When Should I Apply for a Consent Order?

If your divorce was issued before April 2022, you must wait for the court to issue a decree nisi, which confirms that there is no reason for you not to divorce. However, for divorces issued after April 2022, you must reach the conditional order stage before applying for a consent order.

Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement on how to divide the assets of the marriage, you can apply for a consent order. This document will confirm your asset-sharing arrangements.

It is crucial to use a consent order to divide your assets, even if most or all of the assets will go to one party. Without a consent order, either party may file claims against the other at a later date.


How Long Does a Consent Order Take?

Once both parties have agreed, they sign the consent order and send it to the courts. The court typically takes between 2 and 4 weeks to approve the consent order, depending on their workload.


Can You Change a Consent Order?

It is not possible to change a consent order once it has been approved and sealed by a judge, as it is legally binding.

If you wish to make changes, it is important to do so before the consent order is presented to the court. This can be done with the help of a solicitor, who can assist you in negotiating the sharing of assets and making any necessary alterations.

In some cases, it may be possible to deviate from the original agreement in the consent order, such as when both parties agree to transfer property instead of selling it. However, it is important to seek the advice of a solicitor before doing so and consider having the consent order redrawn and resubmitted to the court for approval.


Reasons Why You Need a Consent Order

It is important to understand the reasons why a consent order is necessary for family law and for your divorce.


Avoid Future Dispute

Having a consent order can greatly help to avoid future disputes with your ex-partner by reducing the risk of either party disputing the terms of your financial arrangements and future court litigation.

A consent order agrees and formalises the terms of your settlement in a legally binding document, leaving less room for disagreements and controversy over the assets that have been agreed upon for division.


Enforce Settlement

If one party does not pay an amount agreed on in their consent order, for example, child maintenance, it can be enforced by the court in the name of the consent order agreement.

No consent order can equal disastrous consequences. For example, if the property is in one party’s name, they can legitimately sell it and move away. It is in the best interest of both parties to come to create a consent order to protect themselves.


Protects Your Estate

A consent order protects you from your ex-partner attempting to claim a share of your estate. This includes any current or future inheritances, increases in your income, or your estate after your death. Reaching an agreement now will protect your assets now and for the future.


Creates Peace of Mind

A legally binding document gives both parties peace of mind when divorcing. It creates certainty for your future and gives you protection from future disputes and potential claims.


Bell Lamb & Joynson Can Help You

Give yourself the right security and peace of mind for your future. Bell Lamb & Joynson can help you. We have a team of expert and friendly solicitors that have over 200 years of experience helping families with all types of family law cases.

Going through a divorce is never easy, which is why you can turn to us for support and help. Whether you need our services for divorce, co-parenting, or drafting a consent order application.

Get in contact with us today and speak to a specialist family law solicitor who can assist you. All of our contact details can be found on our website, which is where you will find more information about the services we provide.

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