A marriage breakdown is usually accompanied by a need to rearrange the family finances. There are many factors that have to be addressed and circumstances can vary. For example, you may jointly own your home, yet one of you is planning to continue to reside there with children. So the future of that property needs to be addressed as part of any financial discussions during your divorce. However, you may also want to safeguard the financial future of your children or discuss pensions, and if you own a business together, you need to agree what will happen to those assets, too.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about. And all these discussions, and the decisions you reach regarding your financial assets, are commonly grouped under the term “divorce finances.”
What is a Consent Order?
If you can reach a financial settlement with your spouse without the need for Court proceedings, you may need a Consent Order detailing the terms of that agreement. A Consent Order is a document detailing the terms of a financial settlement which is approved by both parties and filed with the Court for approval and sealing during the divorce process. Once sealed by the Court, a Consent Order becomes a legally binding Order. A Consent Order can also be approved by the Court after the divorce proceedings have ended but it is advisable to ensure the two are linked.
Why should I consider a Consent Order?
Many people are not aware that applying for a divorce does not automatically address all financial issues, and finalising the divorce does not automatically close the door on financial claims. Often, instead, people find themselves on the receiving end of a financial application made by their ex-spouse long after the divorce proceedings have been finalised.
To prevent this from happening, therefore, you should ensure that a solicitor prepares the Consent Order, even if you have been able to reach agreement directly with your spouse. This ensures that the Order covers everything and does not leave you exposed to future financial claims.
Reaching an agreement about divorce finances
If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement over your finances, an application to the Court can be made, seeking the Court’s assistance in helping the two of you reach a financial settlement. If your spouse is being obstructive and refuses to provide their financial disclosure, the Court can assist you by ordering your spouse to provide that information and penalties can be imposed on them if they continue to be difficult.
Prior to making an application to the Court for a financial settlement, unless you are covered by an exemption, the Court will have expected you to explore Mediation as a means to resolving your divorce finances.
Urgent financial applications
It may be useful for you to know that if, for example, your spouse has stopped assisting you financially and you have no other means to meet your financial obligations, you may need to make an urgent application to the Court. We can help you with bringing an urgent application if this is needed.