Financial and Non-Financial Consent Orders

Take advice and take control

It is important to understand that the granting of a divorce does not in itself create a financial settlement between the divorcing couple.

How you split your finances requires a separate agreement, which if reached amicably, can be a paper exercise without the need for anyone to attend court. It will however have the power of a consent order, approved by a court, ensuring it is binding and enforceable.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Blanchards Law always recommend reaching a financial settlement without the need to go to court, as the first, the best and the most cost effective option. This can be done with a financial consent order.

However, we also recommend that you use a solicitor to ensure that you reach a deal that considers all the financial options, taking into account all the assets and obligations of both parties to strike a deal that is fair and reasonable for you.

If you and your spouse can agree a settlement it needs to be given legal protection, so that you are free to move on with your life, without fear of any future financial claims from your former spouse. This is done with a financial consent order that is drawn up by your solicitor to be approved and sealed by a judge.

In this case you do not normally have to go to court but it is important to remember that the judge has a legal duty to consider the order carefully. If there is something he is unhappy with, for example if he believes it is too one-sided, he may refuse to approve it.

This is why it is important for your peace of mind to receive good quality advice from experienced family lawyers such as Blanchards Law.

We’ll help you to look at all the options and implications for yourself and your children including such matters as disclosure, pre or post-nuptial agreements, maintenance, property, school fees, pensions, savings and investments.

Contentious settlements

If you can’t reach an amicable negotiated agreement, there will come a time when you have had enough of negotiating and getting nowhere and one of you will have to apply to go to court.

With your solicitor’s help you can apply for a ‘Financial Remedy’ by way of an application form. Once filed, the application starts the process and a court hearing date will be issued, normally within 12-16 weeks. Both you and your spouse must attend the First Hearing.

However, you can carry on negotiating during this period and if you reach an agreement you can withdraw the financial application without needing to go to court.

There are three different hearings before a judge will automatically make a decision in your case, these can be complicated, time consuming and expensive which is why we recommend seeking a settlement before it comes to court.

It is worth knowing that only 13% of cases go to a final hearing, so you have a very high chance of reaching an agreement even while proceedings are underway.

Blanchards Law have many years experience advising divorcing couples and helping them through the court process so they achieve fair and reasonable Financial Consent Orders.

We understand this is often the most difficult and contentious part of the divorce.  You can be assured that our team will act with empathy, understanding and fairness at every stage of the process. We will use all our experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Child Arrangement Orders

Making arrangements for your children

The first thing to say about Child Arrangement Orders is that in most cases you can and should avoid having to apply for one. The best course of action for divorcing parents is always to come to an amicable agreement about the children’s future.

What you need to consider

  1. Living arrangements
  2. When and how you will ensure the children spend time with both parents
  3. Financial arrangements to ensure the children are looked after

Sadly, children are often used by divorcing couples as a tool, without always taking their best interests into consideration. This can be especially true when it comes to arrangements for future living arrangements.

You should always put the children first, not your own needs. In some cases it is obvious who the children should live with, but often it is a much more difficult decision.

If parents cannot agree child arrangements between them, they should go to mediation before the option of going to court is considered. Mediation is often the cheapest form of negotiation but you should have legal representation to empower you and help you reach an agreement more quickly.

Applying for a Child Arrangement Order

Unfortunately, some parents fail to reach an agreement even with mediation, this is where the courts come into play and you can apply for a Child Arrangement Order.

Child Arrangement Orders can cover a variety of aspects relating to child welfare, the most common in divorce cases are related to Contact, Residence and what are known as Prohibited Steps.

Blanchards Law has acted for many clients in all these scenarios and highly recommends that you get good advice from a qualified solicitor prior to seeking a Child Arrangement Order.

Common Child Arrangement Orders

Contact Orders:

There are no specific guidelines as to the “right’ amount of contact for a child to have with a parent. But you should understand that the 1989 Children Act defines contact as the right of the child to see the parent, not the other way round. Contact covers visiting, staying over and holidays.

Residence Orders:

These are concerned with where a child or children will live. To make its decision the court will look at The Welfare Test, which assesses what is in the best interests of the children.

Prohibited Steps Orders:

By their nature these are negative orders designed to prevent someone doing something. They can be made on an emergency basis without telling the other person you are going to court.

  • To prevent someone taking a child out of the country or moving to a different area of the UK without your permission – for example if there is a fear of child abduction
  • To prevent medical treatment to a child that you have not agreed to
  • To stop a child being baptised
  • To stop someone changing a child’s name

In all cases to do with children, whether contact, residence or other matters Blanchards Law will always recommend that reaching an agreement between the parents before going to court is the best course of action.

We are qualified mediators and can bring our years of expertise to help you reach the best outcomes for your children.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

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Stories & case studies to help you

Please read our blogs on our children work and practice. Like you, many client have come to us because the blogs are informative and designed to help you understand what you can do to resolve your situation.

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