For divorcing couples, asset splitting is an important consideration. However, a divorce won’t cover your financial separation. In order to split your assets amicably, you’ll need a fixed fee consent order.
If you’re unsure about whether you can afford to split your finances – and protect your future income – then a fixed fee consent order is a great solution. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including what the fixed fees will cover.
What is a fixed fee consent order?
When divorcing your spouse, you’ll need a consent order to separate your finances. This makes the financial arrangements you’ve made with your former spouse legally binding. So, if they do not follow the agreement, the court can intervene on your behalf.
Consent orders define what happens to your financial assets, including your savings, property and pensions. In some cases, they also include child and spousal maintenance payments.
Divorce proceedings can be costly, especially when finances are involved. If your divorce is amicable, then you could save money by agreeing on your financial split and ratifying this through a consent order. This way, you’ll avoid the drawn-out, expensive legal process, and you typically won’t have to go to court hearings either.
Whilst the court fees for a consent order are only £53, you’ll also need to pay a solicitor to write the order and provide legal guidance. That’s why many couples opt for a fixed fee consent order. With this option, you’ll know exactly what you need to pay upfront, with no nasty surprises.
Is it worth getting a fixed fee consent order?
Yes, there are many reasons why a fixed fee consent order is beneficial. Whilst divorcing couples can decide how to split their finances without the courts, this will not be legally binding. So, if your ex-spouse breaks the agreement, the courts cannot step in to enforce it.
It also means you’re left unprotected from any future financial claims that your ex-spouse may make against you. For example, if your earnings increase significantly or you inherit money or property, your former spouse could make a claim for a percentage of these assets. There’s no time limit for these claims, either. So, you could still be at risk many years down the road.
However, some people may take that risk to avoid the immediate financial hardship associated with divorce proceedings. They may feel that additional legal fees for a consent order would be too expensive. Again, a fixed fee consent order resolves this issue. You’ll have an affordable, fixed fee to pay, helping you to budget and effectively manage your finances throughout your separation.
What must be included in a consent order?
To be legally binding, a consent order must be drafted by a qualified solicitor. Both parties should seek professional legal advice from family law solicitors to ensure they understand the process, and have raised any issues they may have. They’ll also need to provide full disclosure of their financial assets, including savings, property and pensions.
Once the consent order is complete, they will need to provide their signatures. The fixed fee consent order will then be submitted to the courts, where a family court judge will review and approve the order. This will be submitted alongside a Statement of Information (Form D81). This will detail the financial circumstances of both spouses, so that the courts can determine if the proposed financial arrangements are fair.
What is covered by a fixed fee consent order?
The legal support you’ll receive through a fixed fee consent order will vary between solicitors. However, at Osbourne Pinner Solicitors, our fixed fees will generally cover:
- An initial meeting to clarify the terms of the financial agreement
- Consent order drafting
- Filling out your Statement of Information, and exchanging these with your ex-spouse
- Clear written confirmation and explanation of the terms of the agreement
- Working with your former spouse and their solicitor to develop the wording of the consent order
- Sending notifications to relevant third-parties, including mortgage providers
- Submitting documentation to the courts
- Responding to and resolving any questions raised by the court before approval is finalised
Affordable fixed fee consent orders with expert solicitors
Divorce is already a difficult time without additional financial concerns. If you’re unsure about whether you can afford to settle your finances, then a fixed fee consent order is for you. At Osbourne Pinner Solicitors, we offer an affordable fixed fee, with instalment plan options available.
Our experienced family law solicitors can also assist you with child arrangement orders and no-fault divorces, putting your mind at rest. It’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. For a free 30-minute consultation, simply apply via our online form below. You can also email our team at [email protected] or call us on 0203 983 5080.