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Things you need to know about Divorce; Financial Settlements & Consent Orders

Things you need to know about Divorce; Financial Settlements & Consent Orders

If you’re wondering whether or not you need a divorce consent order, Hawkridge & Company have put together a quick article covering the basics on financial settlements. For more information read on, otherwise give our friendly and professional solicitors a call for further assistance.

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Definition of decree nisi

This is a provisional order of divorce that is passed through, accepted and recognised as meeting all legal requirements by the courts. Once this provisional order has been through this process, you are now able to obtain a divorce. This does not mean that you are divorced; you must wait six weeks and one day before applying for a decree absolute. For special cases, you may be able to do this sooner. 


Definition of decree absolute

The decree absolute is the final agreement, where the marriage is dissolved and your divorce is legally recognisable.

For civil partnerships, a divorce is similar but has slight changes. The difference is in the terminology – instead of obtaining a decree nisi, the court will provide a conditional order and a final order. The final order is equivalent to a decree absolute.


Consent order

A consent order will include: home, personal possessions, pension schemes, child maintenance, spousal maintenance, life insurance, personal healthcare, debts and a settlement that neither party can make a claim, in the event of the other’s death.


How to obtain a consent order

Together, you must discuss and make a verbal agreement before asking a lawyer to put your mutually agreed decisions into a written consent order. You must individually complete a notice of application for a financial order along with a statement of information form – this will make your capital and income clear. These documents and a £50 fee are then sent to the court as a draft consent order.

The judge will examine these documents and make sure that it is legal and reasonable. On occasion, a judge will ask to speak with both parties if the application looks too one-sided. If the judge agrees with your agreements, your consent order will be considered and this will become a sealed, which means legally binding.


I want to change my consent order 

If you change your mind and wish to alter your consent order, this must be agreed by both parties before it is signed. As soon as the consent order is sealed, it can not be changed unless agreed upon by both parties.

Exceptions for changes:

  • One party lied about their financials and assets 
  • Inaccurate valuation of possessions 
  • You signed the consent order under coercion or you weren’t mentally stable at the time
  • If something unpredicted occurs after the consent order has been finalised by the judge that undermines your agreed terms – such as your ex receiving a large, unexpected financial gain 


Want to talk about divorce law and consent orders? Speak to our professional and friendly team at Hawkridge & Company for more information and we’ll take you through all of the ins and outs of financial consent orders. contact us today – we’re more than happy to listen and advise.

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