Consent Orders - agreeing property and maintenance issues

You and your partner may be able to settle financial matters without the need to go to court.

If you do, then you may want the agreement put into a court order to be sure that your partner keeps to the agreement in the future.

Your solicitor can draw up a "Consent Order", which sets out the agreement between you and your partner. The Consent Order can deal with the division of money, property, life insurance, pensions, savings, ISAs, General Investment Accounts (GIA) etc. It is important to remember that a solicitor will take into account a wide range of assets - this now includes cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and others. It will also include other digital assets, such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Digital assets can be particularly important - as they can be hidden or used to hide money put into them.

You can also agree on the amount of maintenance to be paid for the children if you are happy to do so, and this will avoid the need to apply to the Child Maintenance Service (previously the Child Support Agency).

You and your partner should sign the Consent Order. You will both be required to complete a form known as a Statement of Information Form D81. You will have to give details about, amongst other things, your income, capital, any compensation received - also liabilities, such as debts and mortgages. You will also need to provide details of where you are living and whether you have any future plans to remarry or live with someone else.

This information is then sent to the court together with the Consent Order. It will help the court decide whether the agreement you have reached with your partner is fair.

You will not need to attend court; the court will rubber-stamp the Consent Order if they are happy with it and send it back to your solicitors.

If they are not happy with the Consent Order, they may ask your solicitors to send them more information or attend court to discuss the contents of the Consent Order and the Statement of Information.

The Consent Order acts as a contract between yourself and your partner. If your partner breaks the agreement, you can go back to court to enforce the agreement against your partner.

Your pension on divorce

Relationships & Family Law