What is a Consent Order on divorce, judicial separation or dissolution of civil partnership?


7 November 2017

By Farhad Islam

A Consent Order is a legally binding document which sets out the financial agreement between divorcing couples. Each Consent Order is different and is drafted according to each party's unique circumstances.

The Consent Order will deal with all the financial aspects which the Court has jurisdiction over. This includes but is not limited to the following: –

  1. Periodic Payments, Maintenance – maintenance paid from one party to the other.
  2. Personal Property and Furniture – will these be retained by the party in possession, sold or transferred to the other spouse?
  3. The Former Matrimonial Home – will it be sold or retained by one of the parties?
  4. Pension Sharing – can only be distributed between divorcing spouses once an order is made.
  5. Other Assets – how will shares, family businesses, endowment insurance policies etc. be distributed? 
  6. Debts – who will take on the responsibility of any debts of the marriage?

Without a Consent Order, even after a Decree Absolute is made, either party has the right to bring a financial claim until those rights are dismissed by a Court Order or the remarriage bar applies. The remarriage bar is the rule that prevents a party from making an application for a financial/property settlement after they have remarried. Parties must therefore ensure that the financial settlement is finalised, before either party remarries.

Even in cases where a divorce is amicable, it is extremely advisable to have a Consent Order drawn up recording any agreement and providing, that neither party will be able to make financial claims against each other in the future.

A Consent Order is the only means by which parties can be certain that any agreement reached voluntarily between them will be binding in the future.

It is important to ensure that the document is properly drafted and that you understand what you are agreeing to thus, it is essential to obtain legal advice relevant to your own personal circumstances.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

Our Family Law Team will be happy to assist you with any Family Law issues. For a free initial consultation please telephone on 01245 228106 or email Family@gepp.co.uk