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What is a financial consent order?

Female calculating personal financial for future plan at her home, taxes payment..

When applying for a divorce or dissolution of your marriage or civil partnership, it is important to also consider how your finances are going to be divided. Many separating couples reach agreement between themselves; with the assistance of a mediator; or through solicitor negotiations. Court proceedings to resolve finances can quickly become costly and take 12 to 18 months to resolve, so reaching an out-of-court agreement is encouraged.

What is a consent order?

A consent order is an agreement on the division of matrimonial finances that has been approved by a judge. A consent order makes your agreement legally binding and enforceable, and prevents future claims by either former spouse or partner for finances (with a few limited exceptions). For this reason, it is best to get a consent order drafted by a solicitor.

Assets which may be divided include property, pensions, savings and investments. It is also important to get a financial order even if there are no assets at the time of divorce or dissolution, as your financial position could change in the future and your former spouse could make a claim on these newly acquired assets even of your marriage has been dissolved.

An agreement should prioritise the welfare of any children of the family, be fair and focused on meeting the needs of both parties moving forward where possible.


The court requires a Statement of Information (Form D81) to support consent order applications. This information gives the judge reviewing your application a ‘snapshot’ of you financial positions so they can assess whether the agreement is fair and is to be approved.

A judge will assess the application by considering a checklist (also called ‘Section 25 factors’), these are:

  • The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources that each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
  • The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
  • The age of each spouse and the duration of the marriage, often including periods of cohabitation
  • Any physical or mental disability of either spouse
  • The contributions that each spouse has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family
  • The conduct of each of the parties (in very exceptional circumstances)
  • The value of any benefit that a spouse will lose as a result of the divorce or dissolution.

Timeframe and costs

A consent order can take 4 to 10 weeks to be approved by a judge, with a court fee payable on application.

Our Family team offer free initial consultations. If you require any advice about consent orders, or want to understand the support available to reach an agreement, such as mediation or collaborative law, please get in touch on 0800 280 421 or fill out our form below.

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