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What is a Consent Order? Family Law Explained

A divorce can be a tumultuous and emotionally difficult time in your life, even if the parties involved pursue an amicable resolution. There are lots of things to consider, from financial matters to child maintenance and care, and while in some cases the involved parties may have informal agreements on how they will divide assets or responsibilities, none of these agreements are legally binding and they may therefore be unsuitable.

A consent order is a way to formalise any agreements reached between the divorcing parties and make them legally binding. It is useful to ensure that parties are legally bound to their commitments and is especially used for financial arrangements or child arrangements.

You may need a consent order if you are a party to divorce proceedings. It is best to have experienced divorce solicitors work alongside you to prepare both your informal agreement and your application for a consent order. The experts at Clough & Willis Solicitors are acclaimed for their work in family law and can support clients to produce consent orders, or represent them during court proceedings if necessary. Call us on 0800 083 0815 or complete our online enquiry form to request a call back.

How can I apply for a consent order?

The process of securing a consent order is relatively simple, but it is best to have experienced family law solicitors guide you through to ensure that you meet all of the requirements. First, you must draw up an informal written agreement and have this signed by the parties to the divorce. Ideally, this document will be comprehensive in terms of financial matters or child arrangements. This means that it will contain provisions such as details of any payments that should be made between the parties and a living schedule for children (detailing handover arrangements, whom the children will have contact with and other important information).

Naturally, it can be difficult to know exactly what this should cover or what provisions you need to make. It can be useful to consult with expert family law solicitors once this informal agreement has been reached to ensure that it meets all of the necessary requirements and will achieve your desired outcomes from your divorce.

Once you have produced the written agreement, you should submit it to the court alongside a form asking for the agreement to be formalised into a consent order - which form you need will depend on whether you are seeking a consent order for finance-related matters or child arrangements. There is a fee associated with making this type of application.

Do I need a consent order?

Many couples going through the divorce process feel that there is little need for a consent order if they generally agree on the arrangements. However, there is always a risk that parties will change their minds at a later date, or that circumstances will change. Without a formalised consent order, the provisions of any agreement are not legally binding and either party can break the agreement without facing any consequences. Even if it may seem like an unnecessary expense, or an inconvenient step in divorce proceedings, you should consider applying for a formal consent order to make sure that your arrangements are enshrined in law.  If not, they are unenforceable in the event they should breakdown.

If you need legal support in preparing an informal agreement or submitting the necessary paperwork to transform this into a consent order, get in touch with our specialist family law solicitors today. We can ensure that all of the legal considerations are covered and that your consent order is a legal document that formalises all of the agreements between the parties to your divorce.

Call us today on 0800 083 0815 or complete the online enquiry form on this page to arrange a call back at your convenience.


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