Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Nicki Mitchell
Legal Features Writer
1:00 AM 24th February 2024

All You Need To Know About Financial Consent Orders

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
The importance of a Financial Consent Order, which divides financial assets between separating couples, cannot be downplayed - especially in protecting them from making future financial claims against each other.

The agreement, which is explained in more detail below, is vital for the immediate and long-term future of divorcing couples and their children, whose interests should always come first.

What is a Financial Consent Order?

A legally binding document which details the main assets owned by divorcing couples and sets out the financial arrangements between them. Formalising the division of assets, income, and other financial matters in a fair and equitable manner, it covers key elements such as maintenance payments, school fees, pension sharing or offsetting, and a clean break clause.

Bringing legal finality to the financial aspects of divorce, it protects the interests of separating couples and provides a clear and binding framework for their financial obligations and rights after divorce.

Image by Oliver Menyhart from Pixabay
Image by Oliver Menyhart from Pixabay
How do I obtain a Financial Consent Order?

Both of you agree the terms of the agreement and submit it to the Court. If the Court deems it to be fair and reasonable, it will make the order legally binding.

This prevents either of you from making further future financial claims against each other, providing clarity and security in the division of assets and finances after divorce.

How long does it take to sort out?

The circumstances of every divorce are different and there are a variety of options, many of which avoid a long and stressful court process. In a straightforward cases a Financial Consent Order can take only a few weeks to agree.

When does the Financial Consent Order Take Effect?

Once the Consent Order has been approved by the court and the Final Divorce Order, which legally ends the marriage, has been granted then the Consent Order is final and binding.

What happens if I withhold any assets during the process?

If it later comes to light that you have withheld material financial information, your spouse might be able to ask the court to set aside the order and look again at what would be a fair order taking into account all the assets, including those not previously disclosed. The court can also make an order that you pay your ex’s legal costs.

In the worst-case scenario, deliberately withholding financial information in breach of a court order can amount to a contempt of court for which a range of penalties (including ultimately imprisonment) could be imposed.

How is a Financial Consent Order enforced?

Every Order is different and how it is enforced depends very much on the specific circumstances of the case. It is vital to obtain expert advice at the outset from highly experienced family lawyers who can guide and support you through the process.

A Financial Consent Order provides clarity and certainty to you and your former spouse, enabling you both to get on with your lives with security and peace of mind.