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Factsheet-consent orders

Legal Help you can trust | Nicola Williams Solicitor

Factsheet-consent orders

Legal Help you can trust | Nicola Williams Solicitor

Advice you can trust

Nicola Williams Solicitor

What is a consent order on divorce or dissolution of civil partnership?


A consent order is a type of financial agreement that deals with what happens to your house,savings, shares, car etc during your divorce/civil partnership dissolution.

It is very similar to a separation agreement. However, the difference is that a consent order can be sent in to the Court, where the District Judge is asked to approve it.

This approval can be requested at any time after the Decree Nisi has been pronounced.

Once it is signed and approved by the District Judge it is legally binding on both of you.


Are there standard court forms I can fill in to apply for a consent order?



Consent orders are bespoke documents. This means they must be individually drafted according to your unique circumstances.

Consent orders are all based on a precedent,like the one below but nevertheless you cannot submit a template consent order to the court.

The detail of the consent order is drafted according to your specific circumstances and must be absolutely precise.

This is the reason that the government website states that you need a solicitor to draft a consent order on divorce for you.

 sample consent order

Need help with a consent order ?

 sample consent order

All the documents you need to file your consent order at court completed for you.

email me here

I will never pass your details on to anyone else without your permission.


How much does it cost to draw up a consent order?

My service includes all the documents you need to file your application for a consent order at court.

This includes:

The application for a consent order;

The draft consent order;

The D81 statement in support of a consent order; and

The covering letter to the court.

My fee for a straightforward consent order is £180.

There is also a court fee of £50. This is paid directly to the court service.

Complex arrangements such as those involving several properties or property abroad will cost more.


Contact me for a quote to prepare your consent order for you.

You can either use the form below and I will send you my questionnaire oryou can access it right here, fill it in and send it to me.

I will review your case and confirm the fee to carry out the work for you.

If my service is suitable, I will send you my terms of business and an acceptance form for you to send back to me if you would like to go ahead.

There are no hidden charges or fees.

I invoice once I have prepared your paperwork and you can pay securely online using Worldpay, the UK's largest payment provider.


What is a clean break consent order?

A clean break is actually just a clause in a consent order which dismisses rights to make certain types of claims arising out of your marriage.

Just to make things more confusing there is more than one type of clean break.

You can have:


  • a full clean break - which dismisses both future maintenance and future capital claims,

  • Or

  • a capital only clean break -this only dismisses future capital claims and is used where there will be ongoing spousal maintenance.

And not only that, a "clean break" can mean dismissing future claims


  • just during your lifetimes (for example you will no longer have the right to claim maintenance or a share of the other’s pension)

  • Or

  • after your deaths

  • Or

  • both.


It can also be included in the consent order for just one of you or both of you.


A clean break is really only part of a consent order and is only included once you have agreed how to divide your property or assets (or have already divided them and simply want to safeguard against future claims.


What is a standard consent order?

It is a phrase used to describe a normal consent order which usually contains additional standard clauses to those just providing for a clean break between you.

For example a typical standard consent order will include details of what is to happen to a property. Is it to be sold? Who is to deal with the estate agents? How much will each party receive from the proceeds of sale?

These provisions need to be drafted according to your unique circumstances.

You may think you only need the clean break clauses if you had no joint assets at all during the marriage( or you have already divided them as part of a separation agreement).

But, in the majority of cases, you will still need to recite in the consent order how that has been done, so that the judge has sufficient information.

Insufficient information is the main reason consent order agreements are rejected the first time they are submitted.

I have many years experience working in the Family Court and I include in my drafting as much detail as I think is necessary to have a consent order approved.

This is a specialist area and that is why the judiciary, the court service and the government all recommend that you take legal advice from a specialist solicitor or barrister before submitting a consent order and do not attempt to do it yourself.


Do I have to go to court to get a consent order?

If the District Judge has enough information to decide whether the terms of your agreement are fair, it can usually be done without you attending court.

There are occasions when a court attendance is required.

The District Judge will usually ask you for some more details and, providing the answers are satisfactory, he/she will go on to make the consent order as requested.

It may be more likely that you will be asked to attend court if one of you has not taken any advice and/or the consent order is complicated or does not seem particularly fair to one of you.

It is more likely that your consent order will be approved first time if it is on the face of it a fair agreeent and the judge has plenty of information on which to assess that.

You should be careful to explain any division of assets which is not equal and make sure that all important financial details are clearly stated.


How do I make the application to court for a consent order?

If you use my consent order service I complete all the forms and necessary paperwork which are needed to go to the court on your behalf with your consent order.

If you would like to use my service please contact me using the form below for more details.


How does the Judge decide whether to approve the consent order or not?

I use all the relevant background information you provide me with, to decide what to put into the consent order. This increases the chance of it being approved without the need for you to attend a court hearing.

The law sets out the factors that have to be considered by the Judge.

These are set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The Judges also follow previously decided cases to help maintain consistency.

The Judge is required to check to see if the agreement is fair to both of you and makes appropriate provision for any children.

There is a document which accompanies the consent order to the court. This is called a D81 statement of information for a consent order. I complete this for you as part of my service, with the informaion you provide.

This sets out, in very brief terms, all the basic financial information the District Judge needs to be able to weigh up whether your agreement is fair or not. If the Judge does not feel he/she has enough information you will be asked to provide more or to attend a short hearing.

Some people worry that the court will not approve a consent order because it doesn't look balanced.

Sometimes extra information may be required. If so I will put that into the correct part of the consent order.


Do I really need a consent order?

In some circumstances you must have a consent order. For example if you want to divide a pension there must be a court order known as a Pension Sharing Order.

In the majority of cases you should have a consent order if your agreement is straightforward, as the clean break clauses will protect you from future claims and ensure that your full and final settlement cannot be undone.

You can usually still apply for a consent order after your decree absolute. Rights to claim maintenance or property do not diminish over time. There is no limitiaton period. You can still bring claims long after decree absolute.

Therefore 5 or 10 years after a divorce a former spouse can still bring a claim. In fact it can be done any number of years after divorce has concluded, even after one of you has died.

The only time a claim cannot usually be brought is if the spouse has remarried beforehand. Even then this does not prevent applications for a pension sharing order.

If you want certainty then you need a court order setting out the terms of your agreement on a once and for all basis and dismissing the rights you both have otherwise to make claims either during your lifetime or after your death.


I don't want to apply for a consent order - can I have a separation agreement instead?


If you have a financial agreement and yet do not want to send it in to the court to be approved by a judge you can still record the agreement in a Separation Agreement.

But you must remember that whilst this will be a record of your agreement only a District Judge can order a clean break which prevents either of you making any future claims.

For more details on Separation Agreements see here.


Find out more about a consent order:

Email me or fill in my short questionnaire and I will confirm whether the service is suitable for you and my fee if it is.