A D81 Statement of Information for a Consent Order is a standard court form which has to be filled in and sent to the court with your application for a consent order.
The D81 is completed for you as part of our consent order services. To find out more about consent orders have a read of my factsheet on consent orders.
As the name suggests the D81 provides the court with information.
I am often asked how long it will take the court to “process” a consent order. The reality is that this is not an administrative process at all. A District Judge has to consider all applications for a consent order and has to consider whether they are fair before they can be approved.
So how does a judge consider whether they are fair? Well, he/she has to take into account all of the factors of section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. For example,
- how much each of the parties to the marriage earns or could earn
- what the overall assets are worth
- if there are any children, where are they living or going to live
- has there been any special contribution such as an inheritance
- is either party going to remarry or live with someone else soon
How does the judge know the answers to these questions (and more – these are just a few)?
Brief details are recorded on the statement of information form.
I know from dealing with thousands of separated couples that the longer they have been separated, the more reluctant they are generally to give up to date information about their income, assets and liabilities on the form. That is a problem because the information has to be correct at the time the form is signed and both parties have to sign the form to say that they have seen it fully completed by the other person. There is no way around this.
People also worry that when a judge sees the information on the form he/she will not think that the agreement reached is fair.
There are two things to consider here.
Either the agreement isn’t fair and you should reconsider it, or it is fair because there is some other significant information which if taken into account would persuade the judge it is as well. If this is the case write it on the form or on a separate letter or note so that the judge is aware of it.
If you have any doubt about how to do this or what may or may not be considered fair you can book a consultation to discuss this with me before sending the forms into court and I can help you to complete them properly.
Judges are not looking to refuse consent orders. They simply want to be sure that you have considered your options carefully before entering into a binding legal agreement.