Addressing the financial issues on divorce is often referred to as seeking a ‘financial consent order’, ‘financial order’, ‘clean break order’ or ‘clean break settlement’. There may also be immediate considerations such as should one party be paying a monthly amount, interim maintenance or maintenance pending suit, to support their spouse financially whilst the divorce is proceeding through court and a final financial settlement is considered. This is commonly known as spousal maintenance.
If you have reached agreement we can usually offer a fixed fee to deal with your Financial Consent Order. You will also have to pay a fee to the court, currently £50, so that the Judge will consider and approve your agreement. This will make it legally binding on both of you and enforceable through the courts.
As specialist family lawyers, we understand how important it is that you have a financial order when you divorce, even if there are no jointly owned assets and the financial order simply confirms that you each retain assets in your own name and we can advise you on an appropriate financial settlement and the implications. A financial order on divorce is the only way of ensuring any agreement you make is legally binding and enforceable and the other party cannot change their mind about how financial matters are dealt with on divorce.
We offer a personal service tailor made for your personal circumstances and budget. You remain in control by being able to refer to us for help and advice as much or as little as you wish, throughout the process or at any stage, and as many times as you need to.
Financial issues can be broken down into three main areas:
In considering the financial issues, the Court will be looking at the financial requirements, or ‘needs’ of the parties and any children both now and in the future. ‘Fairness’, ‘Sharing’ and ‘Equality’ are key concepts but there is unfortunately no set formula or calculation with which to determine an appropriate settlement and no ‘right answer’. Ideally, couples will agree a settlement and this will be approved by the court as a Consent Order to make it legally binding on them.
Each case is different and the settlement will be tailored to meet the couple’s needs with the needs of any children taking priority. If there are sufficient assets to be able to effect a ‘clean break’, so that there is no ongoing financial obligation to one another, then this is desirable and something the court is obliged to consider, but often it is not possible and so a detailed analysis of income needs, earning capacity and future financial resources must be undertaken to ensure the outcome is appropriate and as fair as possible in both in the short and longer term. A very helpful guide, ‘Sorting out Finances on Divorce’ has recently been published by the Family Justice Council, a shortened version of which you can download here through the Advice Now website which has lots of useful guides on divorce, separation and financial issues.
It is important that any agreement reached on the finances is recorded in a document. For parties who were not married this will be a ‘Separation Agreement’ or ‘Deed of Separation’. For divorcing couples this is a consent order which is approved by a Judge so as to make it legally binding on both of you and enforceable by the court.
If you have an agreement in divorce proceedings we can draft an appropriate consent order to reflect this agreement for a fixed fee so you know the costs from the outset. The fixed fee covers all the work involved in taking your instructions, drafting the order and accompanying documentation required by the Court, arranging for you and your spouse/civil partner to sign the order and complete the relevant parts of the Court documents and lodging these with the Court to be approved by a Judge. You will also need to pay the Court fee for a Judge to consider your consent order and approve the agreement (currently £50).
Thank you so very much for your expert advice and guidance over the past 3 years. As I say I just can’t believe what an amazing effect it has had on me since walking from the court yesterday! I don’t mind saying as I walked back to the car park I shed a few tears of total relief of my nightmares finally coming to an end! Life can now start again and I can look forward with so much more positivity and control of it.Mr J.S
Thank you so much for all your hard work. You have been brilliant throughout from start to finish. I'm putting the house on the market this week. Once again thank you so much.Mrs E.M
Huge, Huge thanks for all your help, support, hard work and legal advice, it has felt like a long journey from when I first sat in your office but suddenly the case is resolved. The arrival of my Decree Absolute happened to coincide with my collection of a new car so it was a monumental day and truly marked a new chapter in our lives, thank you for making that possibleMrs L.K
You were very fair with your charges and I really appreciate all your help. I can now look forward to the future and the next chapter of my life. Once again thank you so much for all your support through this long process and for your endeavours on my behalf. Best wishes and a huge hugMrs M.R
Thank you for everything you have done for me and having patience with it all, so very happy to be divorced!Mrs T.G