Why does a Judge need to approve our financial agreement?
What does approving an agreement involve?
In family mediation, one of the things we do, is help couples going through divorce discuss proposals for how to resolve the financial issues that need to be resolved.
This will involve discussing how assets should be shared, what to do with pensions and what maintenance payments, if any, need to be paid and for how long.
Mediation is a confidential process though so when proposals have been discussed, to convert them into a legally binding court order for the future, they have to be set out in an order called a “financial consent order”. This order is signed by the couple and can then be lodged with the court for approval by a Judge and, once approved, the couple are bound by the agreed terms of settlement.
Before a couple sign a financial consent order, they do have time and the opportunity to speak with a lawyer so that they can have independent advice so they can be sure that the agreement is fair and reasonable.
So, a Judge needs to approve an order to ensure that it is legally binding.
Judges are the gatekeepers for these orders. They still have to ensure that the order is fair and reasonable before they approve it. The financial consent order is sent into the court with a form called a D81statement of financial information. The D81 form will set out for the Judge the details of the couple, the marriage, the assets, everyone’s income position, where they are planning to live and whether they plan to remarry or cohabit. The form also sets out what assets and income the couple with be receiving if an order is implemented and the Judge uses this information to consider whether to approve the order.
If you would like help reaching an amicable settlement out of court to help you keep legal costs to a minimum book a free call with us on the booking page of our website www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk and we will explain what steps need to be taken or call us on 0800 206 2258.