Article reference: UK-IA-FAM18

The application process for obtaining a consent order

The application process for obtaining a consent order is fairly straightforward. This article sets out the procedure and explains the documents you need for it.

 
 

 

A consent order only comes into effect after you are divorced

Getting divorced and obtaining a consent order are two separate processes. However, the terms of an order only apply once you are fully divorced.

You can apply for a consent order once you have a decree nisi. It may be approved before you obtain a decree absolute. But it will not be binding until it has been approved by the Court and you also have a decree absolute.

The process

Gather the information needed to prepare a statement of information

A statement of information form is one of the documents you need to send with your application. It is also known as Form M (D81), which you can find here. The statement of information includes information about:

  • personal information
  • the duration of the marriage
  • the approximate value of the assets and income of each party
  • property that is to be transferred. The most common property transferred is mortgage debt, for which you should include a statement that you have notified the mortgage lender and that no objection has been made
  • intended future arrangements for the accommodation of the parties involved
  • whether either party has remarried or has the intention of entering a long term relationship
  • matters relating to children (note though that the Court may vary these)

Although the Court encourages people to sort out their matrimonial issues themselves, it does have an obligation to consider whether the consent order represents a fair and proper financial arrangement for the parties. The statement of information provides the Court with context when considering whether the consent order is fair and proper.

Gathering the information you need to complete the form is the best first step, as doing so will allow you to draft your proposed order more easily.

Draft your proposed consent order

A consent order is the document that sets out the arrangement or the terms that you seek. You can either complete a template yourself (such as the one in the pack available from Net Lawman), or have a solicitor draft the document for you.

The options and costs are covered in this article. In summary, drafting the agreement yourself is the cheaper option, but requires co-operation from your ex-spouse. If you don't have this, you will need to seek the help of a solicitor to act as an impartial third party draftsman.

Complete an application for a consent order

You also need to complete an application form for having your draft consent order completed. This is called Form A Notice of [intention to proceed with] an application for a financial order.

Send the application, supporting documents and fee to the Court

You should send the following to the Court:

  • Completed Form M (D81)
  • Completed Form A Notice of [intention to proceed with] an application for a financial order
  • 3 copies of your proposed consent order: one unsigned copy, one signed by you, and one signed by your ex-spouse
  • A cheque for the Court fee

You could also double check with your local court that you are providing everything they need. Court staff are friendly, helpful and offer free help on completing the Court forms (although not your proposed consent order).

Make sure you keep copies of all the documents you send, and also send copies to your ex-spouse.

The Court approves the proposed consent order

If the Court judges that the proposed consent order is fair, then it will approve it without the need for either party to attend Court.

The Court will return an approved consent order to both parties (and solicitors if involved).

The Court can change your proposed agreement. Make sure you re-read the document. If there are any mistakes, you should act fast to have them rectified.

Keep copies of your order. You will need to send a copy to various third parties such as your mortgage provider as proof of the decision.

Please note that the information provided on this page:

  • Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
  • Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
  • Does not create a contractual relationship;
  • Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
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