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Why do I need an order if I have agreed everything?
There are three primary reasons why a consent order should be obtained.
The first reason is simply that a consent order confirms exactly what has been agreed between the parties, thereby removing the possibility of any future disagreement.
The second reason is to ensure that the settlement is enforceable. If the other party fails to keep to the terms of the settlement, you may need to involve the court to take action to force them to comply.
The third reason is to ensure that the settlement is final. You don’t want the other party coming back some time later and asking for more. The consent order will usually include a provision preventing any future claims.
Obtaining a consent order
A consent order is a legal document that really must to be drawn up by a qualified solicitor. A badly-drawn order could, for example, misrepresent the terms agreed between the parties, or omit an important issue you needed including.
Accordingly, if the parties have agreed a financial settlement then one of them will have to instruct a solicitor to draft the order.
Once the precise wording of the consent order has been agreed, it is lodged with the court with other documents.
It is important to realise that the court is not obliged to make the order simply because the parties agree its terms. The court will only make the order if it is satisfied that the terms are broadly reasonable in the circumstances, hence it is wise to get advice on the terms and to get a solicitor to draft it for you.
If the court is not satisfied that the terms are reasonable, it may request further information or clarification from the parties. It may even fix a hearing to look into the matter.
If the court is still not satisfied, it may refuse to make the order, although this is unusual if the order is drafted correctly and all supporting documentation is clear.
Visit our finances on divorce page for more information.
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