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At Ramsdens, our family team have been receiving a growing number of enquiries from individuals that have not dealt with their finances after dealing with the divorce themselves online. There is a common misconception that no financial claims can be brought after Decree Absolute but this is incorrect. The claims must formally be dismissed by the court in a consent order, setting out how the assets are to be divided.

Parties are often able to resolve their finances amicably, but they should still be set out in a Consent Order. Without this order, a former spouse could make further claims for financial provision many years later. During divorce proceedings each party also has a duty to provide full and frank disclosure of their finances and this information is incorporated into a Statement of Information form which is lodged at Court with the Consent Order and assists the judge in approving the order, as the Judge needs to be satisfied that the agreement reached is fair and reasonable to both parties. Once the order is approved, all claims are dismissed, including the rights of a former spouse to make an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

If parties cannot reach agreement themselves, there are still a number of options available which do not involve attending court. Those options include mediation, arbitration, collaborative law and round table meetings and we can offer tailored advice on all of those options at Ramsdens. Many of our solicitors are members of Resolution which means that we are committed to a constructive and non-confrontational approach.

As the Consent Order is a court order, breach of which could mean contempt of court, it is advisable that any party entering into a Consent Order should obtain independent legal advice. If you need advice on any aspect of resolving finances and wish to seek legal advice, please contact our experienced Family team on 08000 147720.