Financial Consent Orders.Can They Be Changed? And Other FAQ’s
Now commonly known as financial remedy orders, a financial consent order is a legally binding agreement between divorcing or separating parties that sets out how the finances will be divided. This order is enforceable by the court if one or both parties breach the terms of the order.
Can a financial consent order be amended?
In brief, yes, it is possible to amend a financial order once the court has approved it. However, the process of doing so is challenging, complicated and often unsuccessful. You must make an appeal to the court to modify the order, and a judge will only do so in a minimal set of circumstances.
What is a Tomlin order, and how do I change one?
Tomlin Orders are consent orders for co-habiting couples often relying on the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act. The order allows court action to be prevented depending on agreed terms.
As a Tomlin order is similar to a consent order; an individual must appeal to the court for the conditions to be altered. If the terms of the order are breached, then either party can appeal to the court for violating the terms of the arrangement.
How do you appeal a financial consent order after it has been sealed?
If you wish to appeal a financial remedy order, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of a solicitor. Since the circumstances under which your appeal will be successful are very limited, they will help you understand if you have a valid case with which to approach the court.
The circumstances under which you can challenge a consent order are as follows:
- In the event you agreed to the financial consent order under duress.
- Your ex-spouse did not disclose relevant facts which have since come to light.
- There is evidence of misrepresentation or fraud.
- You were not mentally fit when you agreed to the order.
- Significant change in the financial circumstances of one of the parties, such as loss of employment or serious illness.
An exceptional change in personal circumstances is also sometimes enough for an order to be appealed, but a solicitor would need to be consulted.
How long are financial consent orders valid?
Financial remedy orders can have varying terms, but they may be legally binding indefinitely. In some cases, there may be an event which will trigger the agreement to end, for example, the sale of your home.
Do both parties have to agree to a financial consent order?
In order to have the court approve a financial consent order, both parties must have agreed to the financial arrangements.
In the event your financial consent order is breached.
If one party fails to uphold the terms of the consent order by failing to carry out their obligations, then the order can be enforced. Since consent orders are essentially court orders, breaching one can be very serious, and the court does not look favourably on this.
While not necessary, it is good practice to attempt to contact your ex-spouse directly to make them aware of the breach and to ask them to fulfil their responsibilities. However, if they do not respond, you can submit a D11 form to the court and report the breach. You should also send a copy of the form to your ex-spouse to make them aware you have filed for enforcement.
If you are required to attend court, there will be legal fees to pay as you have initiated the case. If the court finds there has been a breach of the financial order, then the person who has violated the order may be ordered to pay the court costs and any solicitor fees for both sides.
If the court orders the breach to be enforced, your ex-spouse will be obligated to pay the money owed within a specific period. If they fail to do so, they may face further fines from the court or even a prison sentence.
In conclusion, a financial consent order is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of a financial settlement between two parties ending their marriage or civil partnership. Once approved by the court, the terms of the order are generally difficult to change. However, in certain circumstances, such as a significant change in financial circumstances, it may be possible to apply for a variation of the order.
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At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we are specialist divorce solicitors with a high level of experience in financial settlement, financial remedy and financial consent orders.
If you are going through a divorce or you would like to speak to an expert family lawyer or mediator, regarding an existing financial consent order please call our principal, Akash Soni, or his team on 01494 328825 or Make An Online Enquiry Today .
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