What is a consent order?
A consent order is a legally binding agreement that is typically made in the event of a divorce. It’s important to reach a finance and property settlement, and the consent order is the paperwork that makes sure that the terms of the settlement agreement are legally binding.
The difference between it and any other document signed during a settlement is that when it’s approved by the court, it becomes legally binding. There are some conditions under which a consent order can be challenged (such as one party being under duress or not providing full disclosure, for example) but it typically cements into place a legal agreement around the financial divorce settlement.
In most circumstances, once both parties sign a consent order and the court approves it, it states how the finances are going to be handled.
What is the purpose of a consent order?
The primary reason to use a consent order is to stop either party from making further claims against each other after the divorce has gone through. Without the protection of a sealed court order, either person can dispute any arrangements they may have agreed between them and try to argue for more of the assets. Informal divorce agreements that are done outside of the court can often end like this, which can cause a lot of stress, not to mention financial uncertainty, for both parties.
Furthermore, many would agree that it’s a good idea to have the divorce settlement recognised by the courts so you can both get on with your life. The consent order is a cost-effective way of doing that. Otherwise, if a divorce gets more embattled, an application to court can become much more expensive. Coming to an agreement with the assistance of our accredited mediators, and having a consent order to hold it in place can be easier and less costly for both.
Even for unmarried couples separating, it is still important to find agreement and settle amicably to save the costs of going to court.
What does the consent order include?
The consent order covers a wide range of different assets, and how they are handled, which includes the former matrimonial home, whether it’s to be sold and the proceeds divided, whether it goes to one person, is rented out to the other, and so on. Other joint assets such as cars, white goods, items bought during the marriage, or items that are inherited or otherwise brought into the marriage, also tend to be part of the agreement. Pensions and life insurance policies can be brought into question, as well, as they can be divided at their current value or divided into shares that either party can withdraw later.
How Family Law Mediation can help
Our specialist accredited Family Mediators provide financial mediation, including a full disclosure and mediation service for property and financial settlements.
We can help ensure that you have the right documents and information needed to reach an agreement with your ex-partner, which can speed up a consent order.
We will guide you through your different options for reaching an agreement on property, pensions and other valuable assets as well as debts and how they will be managed.
Once the agreement is reached your mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding which confirms the division of assets and liabilities, ready to hand to your lawyer, for the consent order to be drafted.
Contact Family Law Mediation
If you are looking at or going through divorce proceedings and it’s looking like a divorce settlement is the likely outcome, then you are going to need a consent order to make sure that the agreement sticks. Family Law Mediation can help you agree the terms of a consent order. If you would like to discuss your finance and property settlement and want to speak to a mediator, get in touch with us today.