How do I get a Consent Order? A simple guide

How do I get a Consent Order?
Rosalind Russell in the 1949 movie ‘Tell it to the Judge’ – and that, in essence, is what a Consent Order is all about

  What’s a Consent Order?

You’ve agreed the matrimonial finances. The next step is to get a Consent Order so you know it’s done and dusted. Once it’s made, neither of you can:

  • go back on the agreement
  • come back for a second bite of the cherry.

  How do I get a Consent Order?

Contact an experienced family lawyer because your Consent Order needs to be technically accurate.

  When’s the best time to get a Consent Order?

As soon as you are in agreement. But did you know that a Consent Order cannot be made by the Court until your decree nisi has been pronounced?

  What do I send to the Court?

  What’s a ‘statement of information for Consent Order’?

This sets out your finances. It’s vital to complete it accurately. See my blog Financial Disclosure on Divorce – 10 Things You Need To Know for the dire consequences of being less than frank in financial disclosure.

  What will the Court do?

The Court’s duty is to make sure the Consent Order is fair, makes proper financial provision, and is technically correct. The Court will firstly consider the welfare of any children. It will then consider your –

  • income, earning capacity, property
  • financial needs
  • standard of living during marriage
  • ages and length of marriage 
  • disabilities
  • contributions made 
  • conduct if it would be inequitable to disregard it

If the Court isn’t convinced it’s fair, or if the order is technically incorrect, they will raise queries. These can mostly be dealt with by letter. Occasionally there can be a short Court hearing.

If you want to make sure you come to a fair agreement, read my blog Financial Settlement on Divorce, How To Get The Best One For You – 5 FAQs.

  How can a Consent Order be wrong?

If it’s unfair. For example if one of you ends up with valuable assets but the other doesn’t. But this can sometimes be fair if there are unusual circumstances such as a short marriage. See my blog Short Marriages – 10 Things You Need To Know

  How else can a Consent Order be wrong?

If there are technical errors. The Court can only make certain orders. These include:

  How to get a Consent Order right

The simplest answer is to ask an experienced family lawyer to draft it for you.

  What’s a recital/preamble?

The paragraphs above the words “By Consent it is Ordered“. What’s included?

  • Agreements that can’t be orders
  • Undertakings to the Court (an undertaking is a solemn promise to the Court)

For example to return the oil painting of your mother in law. Or to take turns looking after Rover, the beloved family pet. Or to pay the mortgage on the family home. This is relevant if the house will be yours but the mortgage is still in joint names because of financial constraints.

  But what happens if my ex ignores what’s in the recital/preamble?

You can make an application to the Court for enforcement.

  When does a Consent Order come into effect?

When it’s sealed by the Court, or when your decree absolute is obtained, whichever is later.

  How do I get a Consent Order?

Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial free of charge consultation on the question How do I get a Consent Order? In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family lawyers. We offer Pay as you go costs. We offer Collaborative law solutions tailored to your family’s needs.

The topics covered in this blog post How do I get a Consent Order? are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.

image credit for How do I get a Consent Order? Columbia’s ‘Tell it to the Judge’

 

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High Net Worth Divorce Settlements – 6 FAQs

High Net Worth Divorce Settlements
High Net Worth Divorce Settlement

High Income? Valuable Pension, Business, Inheritance, Investments or Property?

Consult a Solicitor who specialises in high net worth divorce settlements or you could lose out. Why? Because couples involved in valuable divorces must navigate complex issues. These include:

  • identifying matrimonial and non matrimonial property
  • the pros and cons of ring fencing (see my recent blog on this topic)
  • the burden of taxation
  • obtaining appropriate valuations
  • clawing back hidden assets

A specialist Solicitor can undertake this work on your behalf. And you don’t necessarily have to incur the huge expense of going to Court. Whether by negotiation, collaborative law or mediation, it may be possible to achieve a bespoke out-of-Court financial settlement.

In this blog I look at some frequently asked questions:

How Are High Net Worth Divorce Settlements Calculated?

Equal Division Or “Needs” In High Net Worth Divorce Settlements?

When Do “Needs” Override Equal Division?

How Are “Needs” Defined and Calculated in Stellar Contribution Divorces?

Need A Guide To Protecting Your Fortune?

Where Should You Start Your High Net Worth Divorce?

How Are High Net Worth Divorce Settlements Calculated?

The starting point includes the following considerations:

  • Resources of the couple
  • Their needs
  • Standard of living of the couple during the marriage
  • Their respective contributions to the family

Equal Division Or “Needs” In High Net Worth Divorce Settlements?

The starting point for division is equality, as laid down in landmark case White v White. 

Mr White said he created the family’s wealth including two farms worth in excess of £4m. He therefore claimed Mrs White was not entitled to an equal share. But the Court stated it would consider Mrs White’s entitlement beyond her immediate needs.

When Do “Needs” Override Equal Division?

Division can be unequal in high net worth divorces. This is where there has been a special, or what is called a “stellar”, contribution by one party who has an “exceptional and individual quality”. See my recent blog on Ryan Giggs’s divorce

Why is this distinction made? Because the Court says it is unjust for an immense fortune amassed by one spouse to be shared with the other. Consequently the concept of stellar contribution only applies in very special cases.

How Are “Needs” Defined and Calculated in Stellar Contribution Divorces?

The term “needs” includes income and capital, present and future. In addition it includes the provision of a home, and sufficient income or capital for old age. In simple terms, if there’s a lot of money around when you’re married, there’s likely to be a lot of money around after you divorce.

Need A Guide To Protecting Your Fortune?

Because even if your case doesn’t fall into the “stellar” contribution category, you may have high net worth assets to protect. Hence my recent blogs will assist you:

Ring Fence and Protect Assets on Divorce

How to Protect Your Inheritance on Divorce

How to Protect Your Business on Divorce

And did you know different rules apply to short marriages?

Short Marriages – 10 Things You Need To Know

Where Should You Start Your High Net Worth Divorce?

It probably depends on your point of view. There is evidence Judges in London are more likely to:

  • consider an equal division of assets, and
  • make open ended orders for the payment of maintenance.

Contact  Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for free advice on the special considerations relevant to high net worth divorces. In this 20 minute session we will review your matrimonial financial situation and how you can achieve your objectives.


JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions. We offer collaborative law which is especially relevant in providing solutions tailored to your family’s needs. This includes same sex couples and their families. Visit our website just-family-law.com The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. Therefore if any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog have application to you, seek expert legal advice.

 

image Garrett Tonge, his own work, on Wikimedia Commons

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